Monday, January 9, 2012

USB Security on Lexmark Printers and MFPs

Lexmark printersGo out and buy a computer today and you will find that it is nearly impossible to find one that doesn't have at least one USB port. These ports allow you to pop in a flash drive or some other compatible technology, which opens up the possibilities for both you and your computer. However, USB drives are not solely restricted to computers. A lot of copiers, printers and multifunction devices have USB support as well. What you may not know is that in order to have USB support, you have to have a slight measure of security exposure because anything that can be used for good can also undoubtedly be used for bad.

A plethora of Lexmark laser printers and multifunction printers have support for USB drives so it is definitely necessary to look at all the potential security consequences that come with such support. A full whitepaper from Office Product News talks about all the security considerations that you should take into account if you are looking at a printer or MFP that has USB support. In addition to that, the whitepaper explains all the different protective measures that have been incorporated to address such concerns.

USB devices are used to connect an infinite amount of devices to different technologies and are able to perform a lot of different interactions once connected. Unfortunately, the USB ports that are found on Lexmark devices are a lot more limited than ones you would find on computers or laptops due to the amount of security risks that arise from putting USB support on a copier, printer or other multifunction device.

When you use the USB drives on Lexmark devices this happens:

The device finds and displays all the image files and flash files by name that are located on the flash drive when it is inserted into the Lexmark device.

If you select a flash file to print, the firmware in the printer will update as long as the firmware updates are allowed in the security settings.

Lexmark devices also allow you to scan data to the USB drive directly if the drive is available in a supported scan format.

This definitely gives you something to think about, especially if you have a printer with USB support. Internet and document safety is becoming more and more important, especially with the recent rise of hack attempts on big name corporations and government websites. If you want to check out the full whitepaper, you can do that here.

Source: Office Product News - Security and USB Ports on Lexmark Devices

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