You may have taken measures to secure your organization’s computers and network from cybercriminals. But have you ever considered the threat posed by your printers and fax machines? If you’re not careful, cybercriminals can use your printers and fax machines to access your otherwise secure environment.

What Makes Printers and Fax Machines Vulnerable to Cyberattacks?

While printers and fax machines have been around for years, recent technological advancements have made them even more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Today, both printers and fax machines are often connected to the internet and to your organization’s IT network. Using these connections, cybercriminals can exploit your printers and fax machines to access any connected computers and networks to launch a cyberattack. Cybercriminals can even exploit your printers and fax machines without accessing your computers or network. For example, they could steal confidential information left in printer trays or send scams by fax.

How Have Cybercriminals Used This Technology?

Cybercriminals have used printers and fax machines for malicious purposes. For example, cybercriminals have sent faxes that impersonate legitimate law firms. Typically, these faxes promise the recipient a large amount of money. However, to receive the money, the recipient must either provide their banking information or pay a small fee. In this type of scam, cybercriminals often use the names of real attorneys to make the fax look legitimate, but the contact numbers and URLs on the fax will direct you to the cybercriminals instead of the real attorney. If you provide the cybercriminals with your bank account information or pay the fee, you’ll soon find out that you’re a victim of a scam.

What Can I Do to Stay Safe?

Don’t fall for printer or fax machine scams! Follow the tips below to stay safe:

  • If you receive an unexpected communication, contact the sender using a method of communication that you’ve verified. Don’t use any email addresses, websites, URLs, or phone numbers listed on the unexpected communication.
  • Always think before you take action. For example, don’t send sensitive information or payments to anyone until you’ve verified that the organization or person is legitimate.
  • Don’t connect your printer or fax machine to your network, if possible. If your printer or fax machine is not connected to your network, cybercriminals can’t use these devices to access the network.
  • Keep your printers and fax machines updated for increased protection.

Check your printer and fax machine trays regularly. Never leave confidential information unattended.

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