A metamorphism has been quietly taking place down the hall in the printer room. Printers are quietly proliferating into network connected MFPs (Multi-Function Peripheral) devices with numbers in the 10's of thousands(and growing) in today's enterprise accounts.
So what else is sitting in the print station besides ink and paper? How about a network connected CPU processor, memory and a serious hard drive that is running Linux, Apache and PostGreSQL?
'That networked multifunction printer sitting innocently in the corner of your office just might be the most significant entry point for hackers to hijack sensitive data from your business' according to Ryan Naraine in a recent
dated February 13th.
'Even worse, security researchers warn, they are a forgotten risk in every enterprise, featuring hardware that combines several functions in a single unit—fax, copier, printer and scanner.'
"A compromised [multifunction printer] is dangerous for a number of reasons. First and foremost, no one in the enterprise pays attention to them. That lack of visibility makes for a very attractive attack platform," according to Brendan O'Connor, in a presentation at Black Hat in 2006.
So what are we doing about this serious enterprise risk as the black belt team of Tivoli industry Solution Architects? A lot actually! We are working on a security framework for networked MFPs. We are designing security into this space(aka management by design), as opposed to throwing security products at it, in order to deliver enterprise class protection that leverages the full capability across Tivoli and IBM.