It's a pretty simple rule: if the device is connected to the internet, the chances of that device being accessed by unwanted parties - or hacked - is higher than if that same product isn't wifi enabled.
A group of researchers from New York University wants people to keep that in mind as networked 3d printers create more of the products that make up our most advanced industries, because they see potential risks.
Said Karri, a researcher partly credited with improving the security of micro chip devices in everyday electronics, believes that the alteration, however slightest, of parts made for the automobile, aerospace and other industries, can have serious negative consequences.
"With the growth of cloud-based and decentralized production environments, it is critical that all entities within the additive manufacturing supply chain be aware of the unique challenges presented to avoid significant risk to the reliability of the product, he said."
If a hacker will ill intentions were able to access 3d printers and introduce faulty data, the component being made would be harmful to everybody using it.
"New cybersecurity methods and tools are required to protect critical parts from such compromise, Karri, who participated in the NYU study said.
Companies from Ford to Boeing are moving towards including 3d printed parts in their automobiles and airplanes, and the study warns that small, hard to detect alterations to the prints are an area of concern for industry and policymakers.
"These are possible foci for attacks that could have devastating impact on users of the end product, and economic impact in the form of recalls and lawsuits," said Nikhil Gupta, noted materials researcher and an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering.