IT managers should re-examine their network layout and ensure that they isolate any networked machines they do not have full control over..
Printers and other Windows-based devices are as at much risk of threats to the network – such as the Conficker worm that attacked Ealing Council's IT systems earlier this year – as any other component in an organisation's IT estate.
Some printers run Windows-based operating systems to contact suppliers when cartridges run low, even though they are not classified as computers on the network. This makes them vulnerable to the virus. Businesses cannot afford to relax their vigilance over the worm, says Rodney Joffe, director of the Conficker Working Group, an industry group set up to combat the worm.
Cleaning up and re-installing an organisation's computers is a costly exercise, but IT managers may be overlooking potential sources of rapid re-infection. Rodney Joffe says IT managers should also think about other devices, such as printers, that are permanently connected to the network.
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