Under the radar: The security risks of your printer

Printers are so often overlooked as a data security risk and yet hackers are capable of intercepting data from your printers once we send that information to print.

Not securing your printing environment can have a detrimental effect on your business as potential vulnerabilities in your networked printers, hard drives and actually human error, can mean your business valuable data could potentially be stolen.

Security risks include:

  • Access to your printer area by unauthorised individuals: Someone can walk over to your printer, pick up documents that are left which may contain confidential information.
  • Configuration changes by unauthorised individuals: If a hacker can access your printer then your configuration can be changed, allowing rerouting of print jobs.
  • Printers being used as an attack point: If a printer is compromised, then they can be used to attack other devices or even your network.

SO, what are the measures that can be implemented to ensure that your multifunctional devices and your whole printing environment is secure?

  • Encrypt your hard drive: Ensure that your print provider assist you with ensuring that your hard drive is not a security risk.
  • Implement an authorisation system: Do not allow just anyone to print to your photocopiers. Authorisations systems should be in place so that unauthorised persons cannot access your print queues or send harmful files to your device.
  • Change passwords regularly: when you receive your printing equipment, they already have a default password implemented. You must not continue to use that password and change it immediately.
  • Keep all printers up to date: Update the firmware of your printer or firmware as that will reduce the likelihood of any hackers being able to infiltrate rather than find the wholes in your security systems.
  • Physically watch your printers! The most common mistakes are innocuous mistakes due to human error! Documents forgotten about on the printer, could contain valuable data and this can be easy pickings for Hackers particularly if there is a relaxed attitude in the security of your office.
  • Disable printer features that you do not need: Multifunctional devices and printers have many useful features, but some you may not need in the day to day running of your office. These functions have processes that constantly need to run in case they are triggered which therefore allows more entry points for potential hackers to infiltrate your security and cause a data breach. Disable any unnecessary functions you don’t need to ensure you are kept secure.

Along with these important security measures, you must remember your compliance to GDPR. Ensure you speak to your print provider so they can assist you with this. If not, come and talk to Mode and our team of experts will ensure that the security of your devices is of paramount importance to protect your business data.

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This post was written by Anwen Haynes1

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