According to a Security Scorecard report, there are three primary weaknesses that plague any government agency’s cybersecurity strategy — endpoint protection, network security, and patching cadence. When compared to other industries and economic sectors, government agencies have some of the worst security ratings in these three areas.
But it’s not enough to just increase your focus on improving endpoint protection, network security, and patch management. Increasing protection and cost efficiency requires an understanding of what’s making these components of cybersecurity so weak. And more than ever, unsecure print infrastructure is a root cause.
If you look outside of the government sector for some cybersecurity lessons from enterprises, you’ll see that attackers are already taking advantage of unprotected print environments to compromise networks:
Turning security weaknesses into strengths requires a new focus on print security — one that includes device security, access control, network security, data protection, document security, and monitoring/management. However, the wrong approach can quickly deplete your cybersecurity budget and lead to significant costs across your business.
Managed print services give you the perfect balance of enterprise-grade security and cost efficiency specifically tailored to government agencies.
Cybersecurity demands are already stretching government IT teams to their limits. And that’s without adding new concerns for increasingly-vulnerable printing environments. Putting print security responsibilities on the shoulders of internal IT teams can lead to mistakes that could cost you millions of dollars.
Proactively Manage Change: Work with a supplier that has proven transition capabilities based upon tested processes. Eliminate any trial-and-error that might be necessary to come up with the right approaches to changing security demands.
Utilize Comprehensive Fleet Management: Having one supplier manage fleets across your agency can cut costs as long as the vendor has the capabilities to streamline all processes and reporting.
Find Harmony Across the Print Environment: A patchwork of service, supplies, and product vendors won’t drive the consistency and control necessary to maximize cost efficiency. Use one supplier for hardware, supplies, and service, one print driver, one device per category, and one point of ownership to simplify your cost structure.
Work With an IT Leader: Leverage the global experience gained from clients with similar challenges and requirements, to proactively plan service improvements, and to enjoy the reliability and forward-thinking of balanced operational capabilities, strategy, and market presence.
Get All-Inclusive Security: The right partner will ensure your printing and imaging devices are always updated to include the latest features and software that’s built to keep your network protected. Rather than constantly re-investing in new fleets of printing and imaging devices, managed print services can give you peace of mind while improving cost efficiency.
As an HP Silver Partner, we have the experience and expertise necessary to give you the best possible managed print experience. Our services are specially designed to help you harness printing and imaging solutions that balance workforce productivity with maximum security — all at a cost that makes sense for your government agency. If you want to learn more about HP Print Security Solutions and managed print services, take a look at our latest resources.
THE UNEXPECTED RISK AND COST OF UNSECURE GOVERNMENT PRINTING
THE UNEXPECTED RISK AND COST OF UNSECURE GOVERNMENT PRINTING
“Government organizations remain a primary target given the reams of personally identifiable information (PII) stored and processed by agencies, not to mention top-secret national security details. All the necessary components of critical infrastructure…fall under the auspices of regional governments. Even ‘small’ government can be huge, slow-moving bureaucracies with a mix of emerging technologies and a massive, highly vulnerable entrenched legacy infrastructure, all of which present a perfect storm for the modern hacker.” — Excerpt from the 2018 Government Cybersecurity Report
This excerpt perfectly sums up the cybersecurity challenges that government agencies of all sizes are up against on a daily basis. But it should come as no surprise that attackers are heavily targeting government agencies — it’s been this way for years now.
You’re no longer wondering whether or not your government networks are at risk. Rather, you’re trying to find the roots of your vulnerabilities and what an attack could cost you. However, you’re probably overlooking one key component of this conversation — print security.
PRINTERS ARE LOW-HANGING FRUIT FOR CYBERATTACKERS
The global cost of data breaches is expected to eclipse $2 trillion this year, with a single incident costing more than $4 million. And while so many security leaders focus on prevention, the reality is that cyberattacks have become a fact of life. Your ability to minimize risk and cost has just as much to do with detection and resolution as prevention.
Unfortunately, studies show that in 60% of security incidents, it takes government agencies years to detect a problem. Mitigating the risks and costs of cyberattacks starts with fixing this problem. To do that, you need a clear understanding of where your network is most vulnerable.
Believe it or not 26% of significant data breaches involve printers to some degree. Connected print environments in government agencies are low-hanging fruit for attackers looking for an entry point to your network. Unlike traditional printing environments, security is about so much more than protecting input and output trays. Protecting your print environment now requires you to shore up 9 points of vulnerability:
Capture: Multi-function printers (MFPs) capture and route print jobs to many destinations across your network, creating the potential to expose your sensitive data.
Cloud-Based Access: Cloud connectivity is great for workforce productivity, but can expose data to unauthorized users if left unsecured.
Control Panel: Users can exploit print device settings and even disable devices from unsecured control panels.
Ports and Protocols:
Unsecured USB ports, network ports, and protocols like FTP and Telnet can give attackers and unauthorized users access to your devices.
Network: Print jobs can be intercepted by attackers as they travel over your network to and from endpoints.
Management: Without adequate monitoring, security blind spots across your print infrastructure could go undetected and increase the potential for an attack.
Mobile Printing: Employees who print on the go may accidentally expose data or leave printouts unsecured.
BIOS and Firmware: Firmware that becomes compromised during startup or while running could open a device and the network to attack.
Storage Media: Modern printers store sensitive information on internal drives and hard disks, which can be accessed by attackers if left unprotected.
With the right investments, you can address all of these vulnerabilities without straining IT resources or exhausting your ever-growing cybersecurity budget.
GOVERNMENT AGENCIES DESERVE THE WORLD’S MOST SECURE PRINTING
You won’t be able to minimize risk and costs by trying to secure aging, traditional printing and imaging devices. That will only lead you to deploy an entirely new stack of expensive security solutions that IT has to manage in addition to your existing security infrastructure.
Investing in the world’s most secure printing solutions will give you all the protective features necessary to eliminate this low-hanging fruit that attackers are taking advantage of. As an HP Silver Partner, we have the expertise necessary to keep government printing environments safe with the help of a modern portfolio of printers built with security in mind. If you want to learn more about HP Print Security Solutions and managed print services, check out our latest resources