It’s no secret that printer security often gets overlooked….and criminals know this all too well and are ready to take advantage of this vulnerability. To keep your critical data safe, it’s important to address these risks head-on and take steps to mitigate them.
Here are some common printer security risks and practical solutions to keep your printers and data safe:
1. Unauthorized Access: Unauthorized users can gain access to sensitive documents or the printer’s settings.
- Implement strong access controls: Use strong passwords or PINs to restrict access to the printer’s configuration settings.
- Enable user authentication: Require users to enter their credentials before printing, using features like LDAP or Active Directory integration.
2. Physical Security: Printed documents left unattended on the output tray can be viewed or stolen.
- Implement pull printing: Print jobs are held on the server until the user releases them at the printer with authentication.
- Enable encryption: Use encryption protocols to protect data while it’s transferred to the printer and stored on its hard drive.
3. Firmware and Software Vulnerabilities: Outdated printer firmware and software can have security vulnerabilities.
- Regularly update firmware and software: Manufacturers release updates that often include security patches.
- Enable automatic updates if available.
4. Network Security: Printers connected to the network can be exploited as entry points into the network.
- Segregate printer network: Isolate printers in a separate network segment.
- Implement network security measures like firewalls and intrusion detection systems to monitor printer traffic.
5. Hard Drive Security: Many modern printers have hard drives that store copies of printed documents.
- Encrypt hard drives: Some printers offer built-in encryption for hard drives.
- Regularly wipe or securely erase hard drive data, especially if disposing of the printer.
6, Secure Disposal: When disposing of old printers, data stored on the hard drive may be accessible.
- Follow secure disposal practices: Physically destroy or securely wipe hard drives before disposing of printers.
7. Monitoring and Auditing: Failing to monitor and audit printer activity can leave security gaps unnoticed.
- Implement auditing tools: Use printer auditing software to track usage and detect anomalies.
- Regularly review logs and reports for suspicious activity.
8. Employee Training: Employees may not be aware of printer security best practices.
- Educate employees about printer security risks and the importance of following security policies.
Printer security should be an essential part of your overall network security plan. By implementing these measures, you can reduce the risks associated with printers and enforce the security of your organization’s sensitive information.
hubTGI is a Canadian-owned Managed Services provider that offers Print Services, Workflow Solutions, Managed IT, Cybersecurity Solutions, Cloud Services and VoIP to help their customers control costs, secure their data and make their people more productive.
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