13

Dec

2019

Cutting Costs and Increasing Sustainability with Managed Print

Cutting Costs and Increasing Sustainability with Managed Print

Saving Energy, Cut Supply Costs, Reduce Paper and Electronic Waste

It's no secret that printing can be costly for a business, both in terms of printing supplies and generating waste. In an age of increasing concern for sustainable business practices, it's nice to know that going green with your printing practices can also leave more green in your wallet. Advances in energy efficiency, recycling programs and printer management can help you save cash while also helping save the planet.

Over the past decade, printer manufacturers like HP that offer Energy Star certified product and have improved energy efficiency in HP LaserJet printers up to 56%, are passing those savings directly to customers. Reductions in materials used in printers, and an increase in the use of recycled materials, also reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing. Through all phases of development, HP works hard to deliver a high-quality printing system that not only meets the needs of your busy office, but also helps maintain your indoor air quality.

How Printer Upgrades can Save You Money

When it comes time to upgrade to a new printer, recycling programs further minimize the impact of electronic waste. HP offers periodic programs for managing printers at their end of life, including buyback programs for retired devices, recycling programs to manage asset disposal, donation programs for printers that still have some use left, and trade in programs that let you trade any brand of printer toward the purchase of a new HP printer. These programs run for a limited time, but we can help you identify and access available programs when the time is right.

Since every action can make a difference, if you're managing a business with a lot of printing, updating your network can make a big impact. As we discussed in a recent post about the trend toward Managed Print Services, fast-growing businesses routinely find themselves at some point with sprawling printer networks that include a number of outdated, less secure and less efficient printers distributed throughout the business. Taming the sprawl is usually an investment in security and print efficiency, and improved workplace sustainability can be a substantial benefit.

Using Managed Print Services to Optimize Your Print Network

The solution for getting a print network under control with Managed Print Services usually starts with an inventory of print assets, a study of workplace printing needs and practices, and an improved map to allocate the right mix of workgroup, desktop and multifunction printers to maximize user efficiency. To improve security and reduce the cost of management, it typically makes sense to centralize on one brand and printer operating system to eliminate unnecessary complexities.

As these changes are made, the benefits of energy efficiency, improved materials, recycling and trade-in programs across the printer network all add up to a more substantial savings in cost, and in environmental impact. Add to that the use of environmentally responsible papers and paper recycling, and businesses that produce a lot of printing can generate significant savings while also improving network security and workplace efficiency.

If you have an office print ecosystem that has grown out of control, we can help you tame it. We'll assess your current network and work with you to design a system with significant improvements in security, efficiency and sustainability, while helping you cut costs with more effective print management and use of supplies. To find out how to get started

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19

Nov

2019

Eliminating the Weakest Security Link on Your Network

Eliminating the Weakest Security Link on Your Network

How to eliminate printer vulnerabilities as a prime target on your corporate network

When network security breaches hit the news, headlines typically focus on the scale of the breach, the number of records compromised, and the cost of the breach in lawsuits and recovery. What often gets buried in the details is the surprisingly mundane ways hackers find their way into networks to steal data and cause mayhem, including an open door through networked printers.

Until recently, most people would not have considered a printer to be a doorway to their otherwise secure network. But as IT security becomes more hardened, hackers have been creative in finding softer targets. In the last year, attacks on printers as network gateways has exploded, often with dramatic results.

How Networked Printers Can Become an Open Door

Last December, one hacker discovered hundreds of thousands of printers with open network ports on a service called Shodan, which systematically polls every IPv4 address on the internet, tries to log on with manufacturer default passwords, and details any information it can gather including open ports. The hacker selected 50,000 printers with open ports, and sent instructions to every one of them to print a message.

The attack was fairly innocuous--the victims simply saw their printer deliver an unexpected message. But the exploit opened the floodgates for other hackers who would go on expand on the technique to use networked printers as access points to the network. Once on the network, the threats and vulnerabilities become exponential.

Ways Printers Can be Used in Cyberattacks

Using networked printers as an unsecured gateway to a business network is only one kind of vulnerability. Even if hackers aren't able to use your printer as a gateway, there other types of attacks on printers that cause damage and unexpected losses:

  • Printer attacks can be used to intercept documents queued for printing--including contracts, business plans, presentations and personnel matters.
  • Data and documents stored temporarily on printer hard disks can be accessed and stolen.
  • Multi-function printers can be hacked to mail out documents to external sources.
  • Attacks on printers, including mass printing of unexpected documents, can be used to cause a distraction from another kind of attack or crime.

In one recently uncovered case, North Korean hackers regularly disabled the printers used by targeted banks to confirm monetary transfers, while creating transfers of cash into a remote bank account.

Securing Your Printers Against Cyberattacks

The vulnerability of printers has been known for several years, and yet repeated surveys by security firms like Kaspersky show that businesses have been slow to respond with even the most basic security protocols. Here are some of the most important steps to take to secure your printers.

  1. Change the default login credentials.
  2. Monitor security updates for your printers as frequently as you monitor updates for your computers.
  3. Ensure your printers are covered within your network security protocols, including managing open ports.
  4. Disable any networking protocols your employees don't need, like Telnet and FTP.
  5. Isolate your printers on a local network and disable out-of-network connections.
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5

Nov

2019

How to Use Managed Print Services to Optimize Office Efficiency

How to Use Managed Print Services to Optimize Office Efficiency

Standardize and consolidate your use of printers to reduce costs and increase security

As businesses grow, their use of technology changes. New workflows and processes eventually bring new applications and devices, increasingly the complexity of the IT network. In years past, those complexities were manageable. But with increasingly advanced technologies, and the growing security threat to protected data, it's becoming increasingly important for businesses to re-calibrate and re-optimize the technology on their networks. Nowhere is that more true than with print.

Typically as businesses grow, the number and size of their printers grows as well. Desktop printers get added here and there for small workgroups, then multi-function printers and copiers are added to increase capacity. In time, an array of printers is distributed across the network, often with different brands, different inks and toners, and different networking interfaces. While the printers were all sensibly deployed to fill an individual need, over time they become highly inefficient as a group and more vulnerable to attack.

Standardization and Consolidation

Efficiency in printing means users should always print on the device that has the highest rated print volume. Employees may prefer the convenience of desktop printers, but those can cost four or five times more than an appropriate workgroup or multifunction printer. Reducing desktop printers not only saves printing costs for most businesses, it also eliminates unnecessary security vulnerabilities since printers are increasingly proving the weakest link on many corporate networks.

The way to optimize your printing environment is to carefully map out the locations and needs of your users, and redeploy your printers in a way that makes it easy for users to print efficiently. Something as simple as consolidating printers from a lot of desktops to an appropriately sized workgroup printer will generate significant savings in toner, parts and maintenance. As you consolidate, standardizing on a preferred brand will deliver more savings by eliminating the headaches of managing a mixed environment.

Managed Print Services

Discover more about how your business could benefit from our Managed Print Services, contact us today.

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15

Jan

2019

Six Security Practices to Teach Employees

No matter how strong your security and defense systems may be, there is always one flaw: human error.

No matter how big or small a company is, the fact behind employees being the biggest threat will never change for IT security. However, there are steps that can reduce the effect of human error, one of which is educating your employees on basic fundamentals of security and awareness.

Other steps that you can take include:

  • Avoiding Unknown Networks. Sure, you can send an email through a Starbucks Wi-Fi network, but these are open doors for hackers to gain access to a device that may contain corporate data.
  • Always Have a Passcode. Everything has gone mobile, and that includes the devices we use both at work and at home. Most of our devices don’t require passcodes, but they should. Teaching employees the importance of having every device require a passcode will pause the threat of an unknown visitor gaining access to critical information.
  • Watching What You Click. Antivirus software isn’t always the answer. Employees have become relaxed in what they click because of the “protection software.” Helping them understand that this is not the case, and the consequences of opening up documents from unknown people or websites.
  • Do Not Share Credentials. Purchase additional login accounts rather than sharing one account. That mentality needs to be done away with, and employees should learn value behind guest or role-based accounts. This is what keeps systems safe and secure.,/li>

Saying Something If You See Something. Keeps your eyes open for any suspicious documents, emails, or websites. Awareness goes a long way towards preventing cyber-attacks and hacks.

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3

Jan

2019

What’s Your Data Worth?

Have you ever wondered what your data is worth on the dark web? Recently, RSA went undercover in the dark web to find out just how pervasive “dump” selling was and what your information is worth.

RSA and Fox Business News Report found the following:

Social

  • Instant Messaging ($1-$5)
  • Emails ($1-$3)
  • Dating Sites ($1-$10)
  • Social Media Websites ($3)

Finance

  • Financial Services ($7-$10.50)
  • Online Money Transfer Services ($0.0-$15.50)
  • Bank Accounts ($3-$24)
  • Credit Card Websites ($3-$5)
  • Accounts from Recent Breach ($1)

Travel/Leisure

  • Airlines ($3-$10.50)
  • Hospitality Services ($0.7-$1.50)

The scariest part of these findings is that dating accounts have quickly become the third & fourth most valuable type of account to resell on the dark web. The reason? It provides the attacker with enhanced knowledge giving them the ability to generate a ‘Synthetic’ Identity. They glean intimate personal details about your life to create a new physical and virtual you in order gain credit, buy property, and obtain enough knowledge to take over your existing accounts by answering deeper security questions such as, “What was your first car?”, “What’s your dad’s middle name?”, or “Who was your favorite teacher in high school?”

So why do businesses & organizations care about this new trend?

Many organizations deploy technologies that are based on the same “Personal Question” methodology. An attacker who knows the answers to these questions can gain access to password reset mechanisms. Likewise, employees often use similar passwords across work and personal sites. More cases are being seen involving blackmail and corporate espionage – when people feel subject to embarrassment or criticism over information they posted on a dating site or social media outlet, they are more susceptible to do unnatural things to keep that information private.

How are you protecting not only your networks and Intellectual Property, but how are you educating your users and protecting them?

Be Vigilant, Stay Aware!

Christian Rolland, BVP, CCDP, CCNP+S, CCNP+R&S
Sr. Practice Director, Enterprise Networking

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