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10 Years in the Cloud


This Week in Around the World with Sharp

The Overlooked Peril: Unveiling Security Risks in Office Printers

In a digital landscape filled with cyber threats, the seemingly innocuous printer often hides in plain sight as a potential security Achilles' heel. Sharp's recent sponsored research, as published in ITPro magazine, sheds light on the alarming oversight of Multi-Function Printers (MFPs) security, particularly within Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMBs).

The Alarming Findings

The study reveals startling statistics:

  • 33% of surveyed SMBs have no security measures safeguarding their printers and MFPs.
  • 20% admitted falling victim to security breaches originating from their printers.
  • 50% of public sector organizations faced printer-related security incidents.
  • Shockingly, only 25% educate their employees on printer/MFP security.

"More often than not, day-to-day security essentials and potential weak spots such as printers are overlooked in their document, device, and network security," remarks the report, emphasizing the pervasive threat hiding within these devices.

Industry Insights

Surprisingly, while only 18% of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) consider printers a significant security risk, 30% of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) recognize the danger they pose.

Sharp's recent financial report reveals a stark contrast in performance:

  • Total revenue declined by 11.3% to 617 billion yen.
  • However, the Smart Office Group (inclusive of printers, MFPs, etc.) reported an operating profit surge of 394.9% to 6.7 billion yen, despite a revenue dip of 4.8%.

Tech Alliances and Allegations

In the realm of technological advancements, Sharp's parent company, Foxconn, announced a strategic collaboration with Nvidia Corp. The partnership aims to accelerate the AI industrial revolution, leveraging Nvidia's GPU-based computing infrastructure.

However, amidst these ventures, Foxconn faced rumors of tax fraud and alleged repercussions by the Chinese government. Stories surfaced suggesting a hefty fine of 180 billion yuan and the seizure of owned land. Foxconn vehemently refutes these claims, asserting adherence to legal and compliant operations.

Innovative Solutions on the Horizon

Despite these tumultuous narratives, Sharp remains on the cutting edge of technology. Their forthcoming launch of the BP-1200S, a rebranded Fujifilm Xerox Iridesse production color laser system, promises innovation. The system, with six toners, will also offer Color-Logic and Touch7 Neon Color software, enabling users to add metallic and vibrant tones to images.

In a world where the printer's role transcends mere paper output, the imperative for robust security measures cannot be understated. The revelations from Sharp's research serve as a clarion call for organizations to prioritize and fortify the often-neglected security aspects of their printer infrastructure.

As the digital landscape evolves and technology advances, vigilance and proactive measures are essential to safeguard against the hidden vulnerabilities lurking within our seemingly mundane office devices.

This blog post combines the findings of Sharp's research with updates on Sharp's business performance, technological advancements, and the challenging situations faced by its parent company, Foxconn.