The good news: Government agencies are increasingly aware that printers can pose a serious security threat to their networks and data. According to a 2016 Center for Digital Government (CDG) survey, 37 percent of the 178 government IT officials surveyed admitted their printers were more vulnerable than other endpoints on the network. This stands in contrast to a 2015 Ponemon Institute survey, where 60 percent of 2,000 IT security practitioners said that a data breach involving a network-connected printer had likely occurred in their organization – but 66 percent of those individuals still assigned a higher data risk to desktop or laptop computers than to printers.
Still, greater awareness does not necessarily mean government agencies are adequately protecting their print environments. In the 2016 CDG survey, fewer than one-fifth of respondents reported that their organization had conducted secure print assessments, fewer than half of respondents had a cybersecurity plan, and fewer than half of those plans included a secure print environment.
While awareness of printer security risks and understanding how they can be vulnerable is important, it’s critical government agencies take action to protect their printing environment.
To learn about the steps other agencies are taking to better secure their printer fleet and what changes they foresee in the future that could impact their print environment, read the newly released report "Is Your Print Environment Prepared for a Cyber Attack."