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SNMP v1-2: Why It's Important to Change the SNMP Community to Improve Printer Security



Even though we see more and more starting to use SNMP V3, we still have many printers or mixed generations of fleets where SNMP v1-2 is needed to have automated supplies ordering, alert notifications, counter information for billing and other management releated tasks.


Printers are essential components of many organizations but often need proper security measures. One vulnerability that should be addressed is the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) community, usually set to the default value "public." In this blog post, we will explain why it's important to change the SNMP community to enhance the security of your printers.


Default Community String


The default SNMP community string "public" is well-known and easily accessible to potential attackers. This means that anyone who has access to your network can access sensitive information about your printers, including their configuration, performance, and status. By changing the community string from "public" to a custom string, you can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your printers.


Unencrypted Data


SNMP communications are often transmitted in clear text, meaning the information exchanged between the printers and the management system is not encrypted. Anyone who intercepts the SNMP traffic can read the sensitive information, including usernames, passwords, and IP addresses. By changing the SNMP community string to a custom value, you can help protect against eavesdropping and other forms of network snooping.


Brute-Force Attacks


SNMP is vulnerable to brute-force attacks, in which an attacker repeatedly tries different community strings to gain access to a device. The default "public" community string is an easy target for these attacks, as it is well-known and widely used. By changing the community string to a custom value, you can make it much more difficult for attackers to gain access to your printers through brute-force attacks.


Improving compliance


Many regulations and standards, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), require organizations to secure their networked devices. Changing the SNMP community string from "public" to a custom value is one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve the security of your printers and comply with these regulations and standards.


Centralized Management with 3rd-Party software


Managing multiple printers can be complex, especially regarding ensuring their security. However, with the help of 3rd-party software such as 3manager MPS software, it becomes easier to manage and secure multiple printers. 3manager MPS software has the ability to support multiple SNMP communities, allowing administrators to manage all printers from a single tool.


In conclusion, changing the SNMP community string is a critical step in enhancing the security of printers. With the help of 3rd-party software such as 3manager MPS software, it is easy to manage multiple printers and ensure their security from a centralized tool.


By implementing this solution, organizations can reduce the risk of unauthorized access, protect against eavesdropping, prevent brute-force attacks, improve compliance with regulations and standards, and simplify the management of their printers.


If you haven't already, we highly recommend changing the SNMP community string on your printers as soon as possible.

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