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New Service Certifies Security Of Printers, Copiers, Other Networked Devices

ICSA offers security testing, assessment of nonmainstream devices, such as surveillance cameras and digital signs
If a toaster can be hacked, then there ought to be a way for toaster manufacturers -- and the enterprises that use them -- to find out whether their toasters are safe to use.

This simple idea is behind a pair of security certification and assessment services launched today by ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon Business. The new services are designed to test the security of nonmainstream networked devices, such as printers, copiers, faxes, security cameras, and point-of-sale systems.

ICSA Labs is offering a vendor certification program and comprehensive enterprise assessment service that are designed to test the security of devices that connect directly to a network, but are not part of the network infrastructure itself. This list includes ATM machines, digital signs, proximity readers, and facility management systems for power, lighting, and HVAC systems, ICSA says.

Numerous proofs-of-concept have been demonstrated on nonmainstream devices at various conferences during the years. This year's Black Hat conference, for example, featured a demonstration of hacks on networked parking meters, while previous years' conferences included hacks of toasters, soda machines, and even medical implants.

"There is a growing base of networked devices out there, everything from those multifunction devices that do printing, faxing, and scanning to specialized devices that are used in specific industries," says George Japak, managing director at ICSA Labs. "Any one of these could potentially be a threat to your network, or a vulnerability in one of these devices could cause you to fall out of compliance with standards like PCI or HIPAA."

ICSA Labs is offering Network Attached Peripheral Security (NAPS) certification, which helps manufacturers identify and remediate existing and potential vulnerabilities in their networked devices. The second new offering, NAPS assessment, helps enterprises determine through a one-time evaluation whether network-attached devices are installed securely and protected from exploitation.

A new white paper from ICSA Labs, Living on the Edge" (PDF), examines network-attached peripherals and the security risks they pose.

"This will be an even greater issue down the road, as companies deal not only with older networked devices, such as printers and copiers, but with next-generation technology that takes advantage of wireless and remote networks," Japak says.

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