Cyberattacks can happen in any industry, but when a government agency is attacked, the consequences can be especially dire. Such fears recently came to light in Kansas when a cybersecurity firm tested the state’s government security and discovered that a handful of printers accessible on its network weren’t password protected. Using information from a single unprotected printer, the security firm was able to compromise the entire domain.
But better password implementation would not be enough to fully protect against even moderately skilled hackers. Creating a comprehensive shield against cyberattacks is a process that never really ends, and many areas tend to fall through the cracks. Here are some commonly overlooked security measures that government agencies should be managing.
Secure your print environment
The U.S. government spent $28 billion combating cyberattacks in 2016, but despite these figures, print security is still too often overlooked. People tend to forget that modern printers are sophisticated network computers. If hackers break into a network printer, they can access any documents that machine processed or remotely print offensive material. Worst-case scenario: Hackers can roam freely through your network, steal data, install spyware or shut systems down completely.
On top of all that, significant privacy concerns often exist when something is printed. Too often, confidential documents are printed and then forgotten in the device output tray. When sensitive information is left on a printer for anyone to pick up, you can imagine the potential consequences.
Government agencies are seeking ways to function more securely while also managing financial pressure and higher efficiency expectations. This is why agencies are increasingly turning to secure pull printing solutions to improve printer security and document confidentiality while also reducing costs.
In an environment with secure pull printing, employees submit their print jobs to a secure virtual queue and use their access cards or company credentials to “pull” their documents from whichever network printer is most convenient. This way, employees are always physically present at the device to collect their documents, which significantly improves confidentiality and reduces wasteful reprints. In addition to locking down printers and securing print workflows, this technology also improves efficiency and reduces printing costs.