Most people do not pose the question regarding the security of the printer(s) you use in the office. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated with new exploits that increase their capabilities to deploy cyber thievery. The popular printers are often vulnerable. You should be checking with an IT Support for medical practices. They are an important resource. Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks, make at least twenty (20) printers very vulnerable. This type of attack originates where suspending the services of the host where connectivity is through the Internet disrupts for use.
What Printers Are More Vulnerable?
A German education facility, Ruhr-Universität Bochum did a study on major printer brands as Samsung, Hewlett Packard, Dell, and Brother are prone to different types of cyber-attacks and these can be easily pointed to your medical office. Without your printers being secure, criminals in cyber-based activity can easily steal sensitive data, and make your printing devices compromised. These hacks are accessed from the printer’s memory through the printed documents. This is why it is so important to use an IT Support for medical practices as part of your office computer maintenance. You also need to keep in mind that HIPPA obligations are not compromised.
Over three decades ago, the paperless office came into existence. We attached printers to a wireless network and this made attractive targets. The use of these peripheral devices served as the most necessary piece of equipment, were not really a source of targeted entry by hackers. Their purpose was just the basic creation of documents and in the medical office, most went into patient files. With the creation of the office internal networks, equipment is linked which gives huge access to cyber criminals. Printers are susceptible to any cyber-attack and your home network is just as risky.
How can attacks be made?
Computer science researchers were able to pinpoint vulnerabilities in security that permitted the corruption of printer languages as Post Script and PJL (Print job language). Hackers could reset the printer to factory defaults or what is commonly known as “protection bypass.” These left the printer helpless to deploy Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks. Also there are alternative ways hackers can access and exploit mischief, steal information, disclose patient information, and printing corruptions.
Safety measures are being developed
The PRET, (Printer Exploitation Toolkit was created to be able to determine if a printer device is vulnerable to targeted attacks. Attaching this toolkit to the network can determine the security of the printer using the printer language that is utilized by that particular printer. This tool kit is ‘open source’ meaning it is readily available but this type of security prevention is so important that your office should use a good resource in an IT support for medical office.
The theft of information from online resources continues to increase. Printers do need a special skill-set of the hacker. Remember you want to protect your sensitive patient data. These attacks and vulnerabilities will be carefully watched.
But you should consider your security expert a valued resource.