3-D printing is going to change the way society functions. Currently, the technology is fairly inexpensive for those who want it, but experts are predicting that it will soon become cheap enough that it almost becomes a necessity – much like smartphones have.
Even with the relatively small distribution of 3D printers right now, they are already changing the way we work, shop and commit crimes.
As we discussed in a previous blog post, 3D printers are creating a serious physical security threat. Criminals can now get weapons without leaving their homes; all they have to do to get a gun, bomb or drone is download the template online and press “print.”
But, as an information security professional, you are probably more worried about keeping your company data safe – and 3D printing affects that, too.
3D printing and information security
While there is no doubt the ability to print weapons at home is terrifying, so are ways 3D printing can affect information security.
Credit card skimmers
Of course, criminals can currently get their hands on credit card skimmers, but it is a little comforting to know that they have to work to get them because of their legal status. With 3D printing, anyone can print credit card skimmers at home. In fact, it is already happening. In 2013, Australian authorities found that criminals were printing and replacing skimmers just as fast as authorities were removing and destroying them.
Blueprints are the most valuable pieces of data in many companies; they provide the secret to what makes their product and company so special. In the past, it was less dangerous for these blueprints to get out because most people didn’t have the technology and machinery the blueprints called for. Today, many companies are using 3D printing to create their products and if those blueprints get out, anyone can print the product, and thus, bring down the value of it.
3D printing is just another reason companies need to invest in quality information security and cybersecurity. Teach your employees about looking for credit card skimmers, make sure all company credit cards have the chip in them and keep blueprints and important documents in a restricted access part of your system.
Once data gets out, there is no getting it back.