Discussing Cyber Security on Sharp MFPs with Bitdefender

Discussing Cyber Security on Sharp MFPs with Bitdefender

Sharp and Bitdefender recently entered a new partnership, one that strengthens cybersecurity threat prevention in our new range of business MFPs available across Europe at a time when cybercriminals are increasingly targeting endpoint devices – including printers – to plant malware, steal intellectual property, and launch espionage campaigns.  

Bitdefender is a recognised industry leader in threat prevention, detection and response, with its antimalware detection technology consistently achieving top performance results in independent, third-party tests.

Sharp’s Senior Product Manager for MFP and Printer Products, Ben Lake, sat down with George Yunaev, Senior Software Developer at Bitdefender to discuss the partnership and why it is so important to protect all endpoints of any network – regardless of business size.

Ben: Today, most MFPs, in addition to the ability to photocopy, scan, print and fax, are wirelessly connected to the internet and cloud services. They are essentially a computer with an operating system with the ability to receive, store and share files, including via email. Unlike endpoint desktops, MFPs tend to be always connected to a corporate network, which makes them a valuable target for attackers.

As a result, MFPs can be leveraged as an attack gateway and entry point into an organisation’s network and need to be secured like any other endpoint.

George: Agreed, and along with printing and scanning, modern MFPs often serve as access to network document storage. If an attacker gets control over the MFP device itself, they can upload or send electronic documents containing viruses to the MFP, which can then be opened by other users of the organisation and infect other machines in the rest of the network.

More worryingly, once they have control, they can potentially modify the information processed by the MFP, for example change the bank account requisites in scanned or printed documents or leverage weak or unsecured cloud connections to expose sensitive data to unauthorised users.  

Traditional antivirus solutions cannot be installed on MFPs or other devices and thus cannot protect them from emerging, zero-day threats or unknown malware, which is why organisations need advanced threat detection that protects against known and unknown threats in real-time.

Ben: We recently announced Sharp and Bitfdefender’s partnership, so could you explain why you think Bitdefender is such a good fit for Sharp MFPs?

George: Bitdefender has been leading antimalware innovation for the past 21 years and is a trusted name in cybersecurity, with its antimalware detection technology consistently achieving top performance results in independent, third-party tests.

With Bitdefender advanced antimalware technology scanning all data and files processed on the Sharp A3 MFPs, organisations can detect malicious activity and threats at an early stage before the business is impacted. The Bitdefender antimalware engine provides protection against known and unknown malware, including viruses, trojans, worms, ransomware, advanced persistent threats, zero-day threats, spyware, and more.

Ben: Yes, and that’s why Sharp and Bitdefender have partnered together, to offer customers the best industry leading protection for their MFPs, delivering extra security and added peace of mind.  On another note, how does Bitdefender ensure a safe operating environment for the user and the business?

George: Bitdefender advanced antimalware protects Sharp MFPs against known and unknown malware, including viruses, Trojans, worms, ransomware, advanced persistent threats, spyware, adware, and more. Our solution has a 99.9% threat detection rate, as consistently demonstrated in third-party tests.

By integrating Bitdefender antimalware SDK into Sharp’s MFPs’ firmware, all files uploaded or downloaded to the device are scanned in real time for malware, viruses, and other threats. The MFP user and/or IT and security teams are alerted when a threat is detected, and the malware is deleted. In today’s world of fast-evolving cyber threats, the ability to detect and stop attacks before they can do damage is crucial to remaining cyber resilient.

Ben: How do you envisage the cybersecurity of print and end point devices in the office to evolve in the coming years?

George: In the current cybersecurity landscape, threat actors are constantly probing for ways inside networks and modifying their techniques to slip by defences undetected to plant malware, steal data or launch espionage campaigns. It is a true cat and mouse game. Capitalising on vulnerable IoT and smart office devices, which includes multifunction printers, will be a key area of focus for cybercriminals in the coming year.

Ben: Yes, and they are also increasingly targeting organisations of all sizes and in all industries. Businesses can no longer assume that because they are small or mid-size that they won’t be a target.

Any device with an IP address that connects to a corporate network is a potential doorway for adversaries to exploit. Most businesses take precautions to safeguard traditional endpoints like computers, mobile phones and servers, but many neglect devices like cameras, printers, smart lights, etc. All it takes is just one default password or one unpatched device to compromise an entire operation.

George: This is so true and as a result, security solutions such as antimalware on MFPs and other IoT devices, extended detection, and response (XDR), and managed security models like MDR will be mission critical in 2023 and beyond for businesses of all sizes and in every industry.

We would like to thank George for taking the time to discuss the Sharp and Bitdefender partnership with us. If you would like to know more about Sharp MFPs and how we’re innovating to make your business more productive, and more secure, please Get In Touch.