Is your printer secure?  Many companies take the time to secure their networks, but forget about the networked printer. Hackers know this, and take advantage of this open door to your data and your network. Here are several ways to increase your printer security.

  1. Use built-in security features. Many printers today come with a variety of built-in security features. However, they only work if you use them. Enable these features, and make sure you keep the printer’s firmware up to date, as patches often resolve holes in the security. Also, update your printer’s password to something more secure than the default.
  2. Use user authentication. It may sound simple, but verifying who is using your printer can stop unauthorized and malicious use of your printer. Require users to enter a password or pin code before their print job will initiate. Pull-printing, which requires they also enter a password at the printer itself before the document is printed, prevents documents from sitting unsecured on the print tray, which further increases your security.
  3. Clear the hard drive. Modern multifunction printers have hard drives that store every bit of data that is transmitted to and from the printer. This makes it a treasure trove for hackers. Regularly erasing the hard drive is an essential security practice for print security. Also, be sure the hard drive is cleared or destroyed before you dispose of your printer.
  4. Encrypt your data. No matter how secure you think your printer is, it’s possible your data will be intercepted. Encryption encodes your data before it is transmitted to or from the printer, as well as before it is stored on the printer’s hard drive. This renders the data useless to hackers.
  5. Think of the whole picture. Ultimately, printer security must be a part of your network security plans. When you consider network security, you must take into account every single device that is accessible through your network – and this includes your printer. By considering your printer when you implement firewalls, virus scanners, and other security features, you are taking a more comprehensive approach that will benefit your company in the long run.

Printer security is network security. By taking some simple steps to secure your printer, you are helping to protect your entire network and all of your data as well. Want to learn more? Give us a call and let us help you ensure a secure print environment.