Why Overlooking Security for Your Printers Can Compromise Your Organization’s Security

Posted by: Nauticon Office Solutions Comments: 0

If you were asked what one of the most vulnerable devices on your office’s network is, what would you answer? Many businesses would say computers or cellular devices, but many times the answer is something else entirely that many don’t even think of as connected devices—printers. Many businesses overlook network security for their printers and the risk that a compromised printer presents. In reality, the printers on your network act as specialized network hosts that require the same advanced security that computers do. Here’s what you need to know about the risks of overlooking security for your printers.

How a Lack of Security for Your Printers Can Compromise Your Organization’s Security

  1. Unclaimed Documents: This might seem trivial, but some of the security threats for your printer are physical and not merely digital. Many employees print documents over the course of the day that they resolve to pick up later, or they get distracted and forget to pick them up at all. This means that the documents are sitting in the tray unattended, and anyone walking by could pick up the documents, even if they contain protected or sensitive information. One easy way to increase security for your printers is by using pull printing. This pauses printing until the recipient is at the printer, and it makes sure that sensitive data stays secure. It also can cut your printing costs, as things that were forgotten and unimportant will never be printed at all.
  2. Compromised Network: Many people don’t know how simple it is for hackers and cyber criminals to get into printers that are not secured. Any printer that is connected to your network has an IP address, which means that someone could potentially find the IP address and connect to it. If you overlook security for your printer, someone could get into your device and change the settings. Depending on the printer, they could access scanned documents on the hard drive inside of your printer or gain access to the directory of people who can use the printer. If they can find the directory and choose a user, they can get right into your network. When thinking about security for your printer, think of your printer as a computer that is on all day every day and treat it accordingly.
  3. Exposed Documents: Along with compromising your network, the documents that hackers can access on the hard drive for the printers or scanners on your network can be a treasure trove for criminals. Think about how much sensitive information is printed and scanned on your devices every year. Depending on your business, it could include things like customer information, financial documentation, medical information, employee data and more. All of that information will be delivered right to the hacker for them to use as they please in a variety of other ways.

How to Improve Security for Your Printers

  1. Make sure that the firmware on your printers is fully updated. You should download new patches and updates whenever they are available, as these will secure known vulnerabilities in the printers and copiers.
  2. Set up authentication controls so that anyone cannot print off your device or access it without proper credentials. Tracking printer use also helps you keep an eye on what is being printed and who is printing it. This can optimize your printing and minimize your print expenses.
  3. Always encrypt your print jobs if you are using a wireless printer. This prevents anyone from easily accessing your print jobs and seeing sensitive information. We can assist you in encrypting information and print jobs so that the information cannot be accessed by the wrong person.
  4. Change the factory default settings on your printer. One of the biggest mistakes that many businesses make is failing to change things like the username and password. When you improve security for your printers, change the username and password and make sure that you change the password regularly. Use a complex password and not something simple that can be easily guessed.
  5. Use a printer or copier that has an encrypted hard drive. Nauticon can assist you in finding the right machine for your business with a secure, encrypted hard drive. This means that the data stored on the printer due to everyday use will be more secure and protected from hackers or those looking to cause harm.
  6. Implement a secure release solution that requires the user to be at the printer before the print job is released. This cuts down on abandoned print jobs and also ensures that only the intended recipient is getting the documents. This can be particularly useful if you print sensitive documents that some people at your business do not need to access or see. For example, if someone in your accounting department is printing sensitive financial documents that are not supposed to be seen by someone in the marketing department, a secure release solution would prevent the wrong person from seeing the information.

At Nauticon, we make sure that your printer has the right security for your industry, the documents that you print, your employees and your network. We know all of the various options available when it comes to security for your printers and understand your best options for securing them and your network. The right system will monitor threats to your printer and protect you and your network around the clock.

We Help You With Security for Your Printers and Your Network

Nauticon is a leading provider of managed services, workflow solutions and other office technology solutions that can transform your workspace. If you are looking for a better way to meet your office’s needs, we are here to help. To learn more about our company and see how we can bring innovative, real-world solutions for your office’s needs to you, contact us today by calling (301) 279-0123.