Security in the Printing Environment

Businesses cannot forget that GDPR came into Law this May. However, whilst office equipment has significantly improved over the years in terms of functionality and security, many companies still have outdated equipment that could be a potential security issue.

People often don’t associate printing with security breaches, however as cyber criminals increase in sophistication, often network firewalls and printers are insufficient in providing businesses the security they need.

You may think that that equipment is just a box in the corner of your office that allows you to print and copy but this is how your box can be putting your business at risk:

  1. Storage: devices that record images and print them are effectively storing sensitive information on the internal disks or hard drives. These can be accessed if this is not protected.
  2. Capture: These printers can easily capture and route to many destinations if hacked, potentially exposing sensitive data.
  3. Cloud Control Panel: If your cloud connectivity is unsecured, then unauthorised users could access this.
  4. Machines Control panel: Users can exploit the settings on printers from an unprotected control panel with the potential to even disable the device, making this a real security threat.
  5. Input tray: Often sensitive documents can be left at the input tray and these can be easily stolen.
  6. Output tray: This is the most common security breach, Left, unwanted print-outs that can potentially have sensitive data on and these can easily fall into the wrong hands!
  7. USB ports: Cyber criminals can easily access the printer via an unsecured USB or network ports.
  8. Network: Your network can be intercepted as your data travels from your computer to the machine unless your firewall is secure.
  9. Mobile Printing: if you have employees printing from their mobile devices, this could cause a breach because unwanted print-outs may end up being left on the machine. Many people may have access to your office and data that needs to be protected may be left exposed.
  10. Bios and Firmware: This is effectively the “Brains” of your device. It tells the printer what to do and potentially is a huge security breach waiting to happen. If you have a newer machine, this will receive updates to the Bios and Firmware, however, if it is an older printer it will probably not be updated therefore leaving your printer as a security risk.
  11. Hard drive: If your hard drive is not encrypted then ultimately you are inviting hackers to gain access to your printing devices and obtain your sensitive information.

Multifunctional devices are equipped now to ensure that your printing has the highest security. Benefits include:

  • Multifunctional Printers (or MFP’s), have more than 250 security settings
  • Follow me printing: Print jobs not released until the owner is at the machine and has accessed it via a code/user name or card.
  • Real time threat detection
  • Security improved: not only just your printer benefits from improved security but your network will benefit from using this type of device.
  • Hard drive protection & encryption

Why don’t you talk to Mode today about how we can help your printers have the best security, so your business is not at threat any more.

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This post was written by Anwen Haynes1

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