Blind to security risks of printers

The article is about UK workers but it’s probably safe to say the results would be similar here in the U.S.

A new survey by Samsung has uncovered what it claims is an alarming lack of security awareness among UK workers when it comes to printing documents.

Just under half of all employees are regularly exposed to sensitive data, such as a document abandoned on a printer, and Samsung warned that awareness of the issues this presents must be improved.

Around 14 per cent of respondents admitted seeing salary details, 22 per cent had seen performance appraisals and 34 per cent had seen CV information.

Samsung’s poll of 4,500 European office workers found that many are not aware of any printing security processes or technologies in place at their company to prevent printer-based information leaks.

UK organisations which deal in a large number of sensitive documents, such as the banking and finance sector, saw the most incidences of data exposure, with 40 per cent claiming to have seen sensitive documents on the print tray.

Samsung warned that eight in 10 UK respondents were not aware that printers store all recent documents on an easy to remove hard drive, while over three-quarters did not know that a networked printer is as easily hacked as a PC.

“The potential for security breaches is vast, and can only be overcome if employees are educated about the pitfalls of leaving abandoned documents, and with the help of a controlled printing process,” said Geoff Slaughter, director of Samsung Print in the UK. (Source: Companies blind to printer security risks – V3.CO.UK)

With all the functionality present in printers today, any security plan must treat them the same way computers and other network hardware are treated.

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About brvanlanen

Just a thirty-something guy currently hanging it up in the greater Green Bay area. My post-high school educational background is mainly in the Information Technology field. Specifically I have an A.A.S. in Computer Network Systems and a B.S. in Information Systems Security, both from ITT Technical Institute, in addition to A and MCDST certifications. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking and sports. My Christian faith is also important to me as a Missouri-Synod Lutheran and all my children attend a Lutheran grade school. When it comes to political leanings I am a conservative first and foremost which you will discover rather quickly. As for sports I am a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers.

Posted on June 23, 2009, in Printers, Security, Technology News, vulnerability and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Blind to security risks of printers.

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