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Risk

8/27/2009
11:00 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Printer Security? Yep: Printer Security!

The news that IEEE has released new standards for networked printer security is a good reminder that it's not just the computers and servers on your network that pose risks.

The news that IEEE has released new standards for networked printer security is a good reminder that it's not just the computers and servers on your network that pose risks.The IEEE printer security spec announcement calls for next generation printers to include minimum security standards, with passwords, encryption, electronic shredding among them.

The IEEE standard for hardcopy devices (including fax machines and other shared devices with onboard memory, hard disks, computer controls that can be exploited) will, of course, have more impact on manufacturers of such devices (some of whom, to their credit, are already including secuirty measures and procedures)than, at the moment, on you and your business.

But the issues raised by the standard are issues you can and should address in your workplace now:

Are your printers (and related devices) shared?

Do your printers include disk storage?

How often (if ever) do you clear the memory in shared printers and related devices?

How many people in your business have access to your printer(s)and their queues?

Do you have (if need be) dedicated and restricted-access printers for the most confidential and sensitive documents?

Take a look around your facility and see if your printers are a security risk that needs to be attended to more frequently than you, say, change the toner cartridge.

Various drafts and iterations of the IEEE 2600 hardcopy device specification are here.

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