Large scale data breaches make big headlines, affecting hundreds of thousands of consumers and costing corporations billions of dollars each year. Thanks to this widespread attention security has become a priority with businesses of all sizes, but in a recent study of small and medium-sized businesses, 85 percent of those respondents surveyed agreed how important it is, but little more than half included printer security on their list of priorities.
In addition to the risk of physical theft of printed documents at the source, owners and IT managers should focus more closely on the data that is transferred to and from, and stored on, networked printers. Each business class print device is likely to contain a hard drive, operating system, and a link to other networked data in your organization; left unsecured, this makes them an easy target for thieves or hackers.
The Price of Complacency
Ignoring printer security is a mistake no business can afford to make, yet many do, often unknowingly. The main threats to your print infrastructure include:
- Document theft. In an open environment with little or no security, documents may be stolen directly from the printer.
- Unauthorized modifications. In the absence of password or other identifier, printer settings and controls may be modified to reroute print jobs, erase existing settings, or view saved documents.
- Hard drive access. Failing to periodically erase the contents of the hard drive, or at the end of its useable lifespan, can result in unauthorized recovery of stored data.
- Printer hacking. Skilled hackers may intercept and capture documents as they are transmitted from your computer to the printer.
- Computer hacking. Insufficient security protocols may allow access to all computers on your network.
Printer Security Tips
Reduce the risk of a printer-related security breach with these tips:
- Use encryption. Multiple layers of encryption can help prevent the interception of data flowing to and from the printer, or stored on the hard drive.
- Enable authentication. Implement user authentication protocols to prevent unauthorized use, and create an audit trail.
- Take control. Use pull printing to eliminate unclaimed print jobs.
- Stay up to date. Update firmware on a regular basis.
- Manage your print fleet. Guarantee compliance using printer fleet management tools and solutions.
To learn more about the benefits of printer security, give us a call, today!