Is your network secure? The answer may hinge on another question – are your printers secure? Many companies understand the importance of securing their network, but overlook their printers. Today’s printers don’t just print. These networked devices print, scan, fax and perform other tasks that have them processing and storing your sensitive information. If your printer isn’t secure, hackers have an open door to your data and your network.
These 5 tips can help you print more securely.
1. Don’t forget the basics.
Printer security, much like network security, starts with some basic steps. Changing the default password on your printer is a good first step. Be sure the printer’s firmware is up to date, and remember to check it periodically. Enable the printer’s built-in security features, and consider a printer’s security when you’re shopping for a new device.
2. Encrypt your data.
Hackers have all sorts of tricks to gain access to your printer, but you can thwart their efforts by encrypting your data. Encryption should take place whenever data is in transit to or from your printer, as well as for any data stored on the printer’s hard drive. If hackers do intercept your data, it will be unusable.
3. Clear the hard drive.
Your printer’s hard drive contains a wealth of data. It should be cleared periodically, or for more security after the completion of your print job. It’s especially important to erase the drive before disposing of your printer or returning a leased printer.
4. Use secure printing practices.
Even if your network is secure, if you’re not using secure printing practices, you’re still putting your data at risk. User authentication can help limit access to your printers, while pull-printing (only printing the document once the user is physically at the printer) can eliminate unmonitored documents sitting on the print tray.
5. Monitor usage.
Understanding who is using your printers and how it’s being used is good for many reasons, but it also helps contribute to security. Changes in normal usage could signal a problem, and early detection is key.
Printer security is an essential component of network security. By making sure your printer is secure, you’re helping to protect not only your data, but your network and your entire company.
Ask us about our technology assessment service and let us help you find the best solution to keep your printers and network secure.