Today, information is a critical component of every business. That means security is essential for every office – especially when it comes to printers connected to your network. When a printer is plugged into your corporate network, or integrated with business systems like email, and given LAN authentication, if left unsecured it’s like an unlocked back door, leaving your entire network vulnerable.

Quocirca recently surveyed 200 US and European companies and found that over half experienced data loss due to unsecured printers. Half of those losses came from intercepted print jobs and 44% were linked to documents mailed to external sources via printers that were hacked to gain access to the network.

Unprotected multifunction printers can present vulnerabilities like:

  • Easy Access to Unauthorized Print Data– Printed documents left at the printer is open and available to anyone with access to the machine. If it’s sensitive data, you’ve been compromised!
  • Easy Access to Settings – Left unsecured, a hacker can change your printer configuration to route a job elsewhere.
  • Print Job Manipulation– This includes inserting new content in the print job, replacing print content, or deleting logs.
  • Print Data Disclosure– If a device is decommissioned, people can still gain access to data left behind in the system or on the hard drive.
  • Network Attack– When an unsecured printer becomes compromised, it can serve as a hub for a malicious attack on other parts of your network.

Simple Steps to Protect Your Printers

If your printer is connected to your network it should have the same level of protection as any other networked device. Here are some steps you can take:

Encryption – Encrypt data to and from the device.

Erase – Make sure to periodically scrub the printer hard drive.

Control – Give each employee a unique identifier so jobs only output when it’s used.

Update – Keep all firmware and security updates current.

Manage – Consider using software to manage and monitor all devices and accessibility.

With the rise in MFPs in today’s offices and the amount of data transmitted, stored, and output, security should be a priority for every business. While its connectivity is what makes your MFP so valuable, it’s also what makes it so vulnerable!

Is your print environment as secure as it should be? Call today and let us show you how to keep your printers secure from today’s ever-present threats.