Cybercrimes are no joke – they cost businesses over $7.7 million last year. As more companies are victimized, businesses are looking for ways to secure their computers to shield against an attack, but many overlook another major point of entry for hackers: the printer.

Printer Vulnerabilities

Printers deal with a large amount of sensitive data every day, but are often not properly secured. This is why up to 60% of cyberattacks involve printers. Printers are vulnerable from a variety of angles, including:

  • Firmware hacks
  • Hard drive data
  • Mobile printing
  • Lack of encryption
  • Unclaimed print jobs on the output tray
  • Unauthorized printer usage

Because there are so many ways someone could gain access to your data via a printer, you must use a multi-pronged approach to printer security.

Security Techniques

Good security starts at the printer. Your printer should have embedded security features to help prevent attack. Security updates should be installed regularly as they are released. No settings should be able to be changed on the printer without authentication.

Printers should also automatically encrypt all data that is sent to or from the printer, as well as what is stored on its hard drive. This will prevent the data from being useful if intercepted. The printer’s hard drive should be erased periodically and destroyed prior to recycling the device.

User authentication via passcode or other means is another way to secure your printer. Combined with pull-printing to reduce unclaimed jobs on the print tray, this can help reduce your risk of a data breach. It’s important to remember if you activate mobile printing that you use encryption and authentication techniques for that as well.

A Comprehensive Strategy

Protecting your network must involve your printers, and protecting your printers must involve your network. Because it is a complex and changing field, it can be beneficial to consult with a provider that specializes in security solutions. These experts can conduct an analysis on your network and print environment to help you develop and update a comprehensive security strategy. By filling the gaps in your security, you can reduce your risk of becoming the next victim of attack.

Printers are a major vulnerability for businesses today and must be secured. With a variety of security techniques and expert help, you can have a secure print environment to protect your sensitive data.

How secure are your printers? If you are thinking of purchasing or leasing a new printer, be sure to download our free Ultimate MFP Buyers Guide – it will help you to understand the key questions to ask potential vendors, ensuring you get the best printer for your needs.