Issues with direct IP printing?

Posted on 2006-05-24
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
At work we are switching From a Novell NDPS (network distributed printer service) printing environment which doesn't work well to printing directly to the printer's ip address bypassing NDPS, eveything works much better. What are possible security concerns with
sending print jobs directly to the printer's ip address? We print confidential information. All devices are within ip addresses which
are protected by our companies firewall.
Question by:eplasencio
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    How was the printer connected to the Novell server? If it wasn't physically connected via USB or parallel, then the Novell server was just forwarding jobs sent to it on to the printer. Odds are, unless it's physically attached to the server, the Novell server was just printing directly to the printer's IP address, so security should be roughly the same.

    Unless your printer support some sort of encryption, there's a small chance somebody with physical access to your network could intercept print jobs and read them. Of course, if somebody has physical access to your network, it would be easier to get to the original documents on the workstations than it would be to spoof the printer's MAC address and start grabbing print jobs.

    Keep in mind that physical access includes wireless access, so you'll want to ensure any wifi points are secure (and, preferably, on the other side of the firewall giving only Internet access).

    Also, if security is a major concern, don't use network hubs. Use switches instead. It's much harder to sniff packets going through switches than it is to sniff data going through hubs, since the data going through hubs goes to every computer connected to the hub.

    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    In addition to thoffman's comments, this is an area of increasing concern.
    Many newer IP printers and MFP's support encryption and secure deletion of print jobs.

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