George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” saga is practically a cautionary tale of “danger is everywhere; you’re never safe.” And while as an IT manager you may not be defending your office from White Walkers or Wildlings, having a stout defense and vigilant guard are key to protecting your kingdom.
Even though the only hacking going on in Westeros is done with a sword, we can learn some things about printer security and cybersecurity from the characters in “Game of Thrones.”
“What we don’t know is what usually gets us killed.”
– Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish
It’s always the one you don’t see that gets you, right? Well, just as any smart person would always keep one eye on the conniving “Littlefinger,” it’s important for IT to be cognizant of potential network threats.
Yet many IT pros overlook printer and embedded device security. According to the experts at Red Tiger Security, “Today most organizations do not have a security strategy for printers and embedded devices, have little or no security in place for these systems, or they may be getting sporadic input from their vendors.”1
“Why is it that when one man builds a wall, the next man immediately needs to know what’s on the other side?”
– Tyrion Lannister
“A giant ice wall at the edge of the known world? Let’s see what’s on the other side,” said no sane person, ever. But hackers often go looking where they shouldn’t, including your network, if they can. Putting the printer behind the firewall is key, but additional print security measures are also important.
Take the time to use secure protocols, encrypted communications channels and turn on and configure an internal firewall on your printer or embedded device.
“The more people you love, the weaker you are.”
– Cersei Lannister
Cersei Lannister believes in keeping your enemies close and your friends … what friends? But that’s a queen’s prerogative — you might actually have to trust some people. However, the more people who have administrative access, the more at risk you are.
Secure printers with unique administrative passwords, and make sure to configure printers as you deploy them so that default usernames, passwords and unused ports are no longer active.
“Winter is coming, and we know what’s coming with it. We can’t face it alone.”
– Jon Snow
Jon Snow is a real team player, and a born leader. His people count on him, and he counts on them. Sound familiar? And to think: You don’t even have a white direwolf. Or do you?
Employees have a vital role in maintaining network security. Unsecured, non-configured, rogue device deployments can be vulnerable to a breach. This includes large deployments such as printers and seemingly innocuous bring-your-own-device situations. Use rogue device detection and encourage your employees to seek your help securing any devices they deploy.
“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”
– Cersei Lannister
Whether you’re trying to sit atop the Iron Throne or keep your network safe, you gotta be #winning at all times! Otherwise, you end up as a (purely metaphorical) head on a spike.
Even a small network breach can cost a lot of time and money to rectify. According an IDC white paper, a printer-related security breach can cost 54 employees’ worth of productivity, 277 hours to remedy and $500,000 in hard costs.2 So, an ounce of prevention is clearly worth a pound of cure.
Take the HP Secure Print Analysis at www.hp.com/au/spa or
Contact an HP Printer Security Expert
- 1 800 985 138 (within Australia only)
- Enquiry form
1Red Tiger Security white paper “Printer and Embedded Device Security,” May 2015.
2IDC white paper, sponsored by HP, “The Business Value of Printer Security,” November 2015.