A recent study found that fifty-six percent of businesses overlook their office printers in their overall security strategy; this is like an open invitation to hackers. Sixty percent of companies surveyed had been breached through their networked printer, and each breach took an average of forty-six days to resolve.

Are your printers protected? Here are five reasons that overlooking printer security can open your business up to the havoc of a data breach:

  1. Network Vulnerability – Even with a firewall your network may have access points a hacker can infiltrate. An overlooked printer creates vulnerability; once accessed, a hacker can gain access to your entire network.
  2. Attacks – Once a hacker gains access to your printer, they can create a myriad of problems: printers can become “possessed” – printing random jobs, transmitting faxes, or even changing settings. Printers have also been used for denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.
  3. Data Theft – Once on your network, a hacker has access to all data; unencrypted data is particularly at risk.
  4. Hardcopy Risks – Output left at the printer opens the door to breach. Unauthorized eyes may view confidential information putting your business at risk for regulatory compliance failure and legal liability.
  5. Mobile Devices – As mobile use expands it’s becoming more challenging to provide authentication and secure data transmission. Implement a mobile solution that addresses these issues.

Take simple precautions to address your printer security including:

  • Use encrypted data protocols. Disable unsused printer ports and protocols directly on the device.
  • Destroy your hard drive whenever any printer is decommissioned.
  • Support at least one form of secure authentication, whether it’s an access card, PIN or print at device (pull-printing) protocols.
  • Make sure your firmware and security software is updated and current. Only use legitimate, verified updates.
  • Use a print management tool to centrally manage your print environment and ensure security protocols are followed and enforced.

Keep your business safe! Make sure that all of your print and mobile devices use the same level of security as the rest of your network. Take the time now to protect your business to avoid lost time and liability in the future.

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