By: Mathew Thomas, Managing Director, Middle East, Turkey and East Africa, HP
Today, cybercrime has grown to become a financially driven industry, costing organizations globally a whopping $445 billion.
In the last year, large data breaches have driven the demand for heavily reliable security devices to the highest point.
In fact, no organization is exceptionally immune to cyberattacks, and as digital technology rapidly transforms, security faces a tough time in keeping up.
A study conducted by PwC in 2016 indicated that cybercrime remains to be the second most reported economic crime.
Acknowledging this significant issue is a first step towards protecting an organization’s security landscape.
According to PwC’s study, 21 percent of respondents in the Middle East did not even know their organization has been a victim of some sort of cybercrime.
To highlight the issue further, 42 percent of organizations who responded to the survey have stated that they’d suffered high or intermediate level damage to their reputation as a result of cyber-attacks, compared to 30 percent globally. (reference: https://www.pwc.com/m1/en/publications/middle-east-economic-crime-survey/cybercrime.html)
When thinking of cyberattacks, individuals and organizations tend to link the problem to lack of security in devices such as PCs, networks, routers and datacenters.
Printers on the other hand, are almost completely overlooked, with only 18 percent of IT managers focused on printer security in their current business infrastructures.
Cyber groups today are extremely forward thinking and as their industry obviously has no regulations, it moves significantly faster than the security industry.
Cyber criminals have modernized their hacking approach and dedicated their time and resources into finding the fastest and simplest way to crack an organization’s security system.
For this reason, we are witnessing a major decline of attacks on servers and networks, because they are reasonably well protected.
Instead, ‘endpoint devices’ are the new frontline of the cyberwar, and as printers are overlooked and seen as a standalone device, it’s become one of the easiest ways to crack onto an organization’s security system.
Last year, HP launched ‘The Wolf’ campaign which is now in its third season called ‘The Fixer’.
The main objective from this campaign is to highlight the critical issue of printer security, and to raise awareness on this highly dismissed aspect of security.
The campaign ultimately aims to showcase the importance of investing in reliable security devices and solutions to minimize the risk of being victimized by cyber criminals today.
HP’s business printer, showcased in ‘The Fixer’ season, was specifically designed to stop cyber criminals from hijacking printers, often seen as weak links of every organization.
The printer is equipped with strong security features, including a run time intrusion detector which protects it by constantly looking for malware attacks or any strange body trying to access the device.
At any given moment, if the printer detects a foreign body, it immediately reboots, healing itself with no action required from any individual.
The most ignored cyber risk is also the least detectable, and that’s an attack “below” the operating system, in the BIOS. HP is the only company to deliver self-healing PCs and Printers through HP Sure Start that detects, protects and self-heals from BIOS attacks capable of evading traditional antivirus.
With the level of sophistication that cyber criminals have reached today, inadequate security can not be hidden anymore, and organizations can be easily exploited.
Therefore, it is imperative that all organizations transform and step up their approach to security by firstly acknowledging this issue, then making the necessary investments to achieve the level of security that will keep them from falling into the hands of cyber predators.