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Printer hacks – a less talked-about data security issue

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When imagining a data breach in the workplace, our minds often go to database hacks or malicious cyberattacks. However, the risks of printers are not always considered. In fact, printer hacks can sometimes be just as dangerous, acting as a route into the wider company network.

The lack of awareness surrounding such risks can demonstrate that there is often poor education about data protection at many companies. Ensuring good data protection is not simply a case of implementing firewalls or antivirus software. It is also vital that employees follow strict procedures and are aware of what good practice is.

When a third-party organisation fails to protect your personal information, they may have breached data protection law. Where this is the case, you may be able to make a claim in order to be compensated for the damage caused. As leading specialists in data protection law, we help those affected by data breaches to access the justice they deserve.

Printer hacks and potential data breaches

A previous survey found that those at “small and medium-sized businesses in the UK” can be severely unaware of the risks of printer hacks. It was highlighted by Sharp that 95% of employees did not consider printers to be a security risk at all, which is a worrying finding.

In fact, printers can pose a security risk because they are often connected to the same networks as all the desktop computers and laptops in an office. If hacked, printers could act as an entry point to overall company networks, possibly allowing access to private databases or email correspondence.

As many might be unaware that printers can succumb to cyberattacks, they can be the chink in a company’s armour when it comes to cybersecurity defences.

Beyond this, printers can also be a site of general carelessness: failing to pick up confidential documents in the tray can lead to a data protection breach, allowing unauthorised employees to view private information.

Company data security and remote working

The problem of company data security has only worsened since the coronavirus pandemic, which has required more employees to work from home. The possibility of printer hacks can often be more pronounced in the home environment, as many people may neglect to password-protect their own printers and devices.

Many employees may be breaching data protection regulations unknowingly by printing documents at home, as some companies prevent employees from taking hard copies of information outside the office environment.

Making a compensation claim

However innocuous an error may seem, any breach of data protection law could make the data controller liable to pay compensation to the victims. As a firm specialising in data breach claims, we help those affected by the emotional and/or financial cost of data breaches to recover the compensation that they deserve.

We don’t want anyone to experience what happens if confidential information is leaked, and holding companies to account for data protection negligence can prevent the same mistakes from happening again.

To receive free, no-obligation advice on your potential compensation claim, you can contact us today or register your details for a call-back.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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