Even though Brother International is a supplier of many\u00a0 IT products, from machine tools to head-mounted displays to industrial sewing machines, it\u2019s best known for printers. And in today\u2019s world, those printers are no longer stand-alone devices, but components of the internet of things.\nThat\u2019s why I was interested in this list from Robert Burnett, Brother\u2019s director, B2B product & solution \u2013 basically, the company\u2019s point man for large customer implementations. Not surprisingly, Burnett focuses on IoT security mistakes related to printers and also shares Brother\u2019s recommendations for dealing with the top five.\n#5: Not controlling access and authorization\n\u201cIn the past,\u201d Burnett says, \u201ccost control was the driving force behind managing who can use a machine and when their jobs are released.\u201d That\u2019s still important, of course, but Burnett says security is quickly becoming the key reason to put management controls on print and scan devices. That\u2019s true not just for large enterprises, he notes, but for businesses of all sizes.\n#4: Failure to update firmware regularly\nLet\u2019s face it, most IT professionals stay plenty busy keeping servers and other network infrastructure devices up to date and ensuring their infrastructure is as secure and efficient as possible. \u201cIn this day-to-day process,\u201d Burnett says, \u201cdevices like printers are very often overlooked.\u201d But out-of-date firmware could expose the infrastructure to new threats.\n#3: Inadequate device awareness\nIt\u2019s critical, Burnett says, to properly understand who is using what, and the capabilities of all the connected devices in the fleet. Reviewing these devices using port scanning, protocol analysis and other detection techniques should be part of the overall security reviews of your network infrastructure. Too often, he warns, \u201cthe approach to print devices is \u2018if it\u2019s not broke, don\u2019t fix it!\u2019\u201d But even devices that have been running reliably for years should be part of security reviews. That\u2019s because older devices may not have the capability to offer stronger security settings or you may need to update their configuration to meet today\u2019s greater security demands. This includes the monitoring\/reporting capabilities of a device.\n#2: Inadequate user training\n\u201cTraining your team on best practices for managing documents within the workflow must be part of a strong security plan,\u201d Burnett says. The fact is, no matter how hard you work to secure IoT devices, \u201cthe human factor is often the weakest link in securing important and sensitive information within a business. Items as simple as leaving important documents on the printer for anyone to see, or scanning documents to the wrong destination by accident, can have a huge, negative impact on a business not just financially, but also to its IP, reputation, and cause compliance\/regulation issues.\u201d\n#1: Using default passwords\n\u201cJust because it\u2019s easy doesn\u2019t mean it\u2019s not important!\u201d Burnett says. Securing printer and multi-function devices from unauthorized admin access not only helps protect sensitive machine-configuration settings and report information, Burnett says, but also prevents access to personal information, such as user names that could be used in phishing attacks, for example.