Printer security often gets overlooked among most organizations and users. Most companies are unaware of the risks associated with having a printer copier that is not secure. Printer copiers may be considered a lower priority than securing your computers and overall network, and the truth is that this is what cybercriminals are hoping for.
Printer copiers serve as a critical access point for a cybercriminal to gain entry accessing the information on your computers and overall network.
At LDI, we know how important it is to invest in printer security that pays dividends in the long term. LDI’s Managed Print division works with clients to audit their current print infrastructure to reveal any potential areas for improvement. Understanding your company’s security gaps is essential in applying the right printer security measures.
This article will address how a data breach can occur on an unsecured printer copier and five significant ways to protect your printer copier from a plausible data breach. After reading this article, you will have a better idea of what security solutions you may need to apply to your current print infrastructure.
How Can A Data Breach Occur Via An Unsecured Printer Copier
Data breaches qualify as any security incident where information is accessed, used, and stolen by cybercriminals. Cybercriminals will look for any entry point they can to gain access to your company’s data.
By simply obtaining printer passwords or passwords utilized for various communication protocols, cybercriminals can use those passwords as a gateway into your company’s network. Essentially, once a cybercriminal has hacked into your printer, they can gain access to employee computers.
Cybercriminals can hack into a printer’s operating system and access copies of sensitive documents stored from previous print jobs in the queue.
You can tell if your printer copier has been hacked, if various printer-related error messages start appearing or if an unauthorized or consistent alteration in print jobs occurs.
Now that we have a better idea of what a data breach can look like on an unsecured printer copier, let’s dive into five significant ways to protect your printer copier from a plausible data breach.
5 Ways To Secure Your Printer Copier From A Data Breach
Printer copiers pose a security risk, especially when they are unsecured. Securing your printer copiers from unauthorized access and data breaches is imperative in keeping sensitive information protected and your clients information.
Fortunately, there are significant ways to help secure your printer copier from data breaches.
1. Set A Strong Password
Printer copiers do not come with a set password. By simply accessing the printer copier’s default settings, you can choose the username and password of choice for that particular printing device.
Consider setting your printer copier’s password to a strong password or passphrase. A passphrase is a collection of random words that can be easier to remember than a password containing multiple numbers and symbols.
If your company has more than one printer copier, make sure that each has a strong password that makes it harder for cybercriminals to crack. While it is advised to change a password every three months, ensuring that the password has a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and even a few symbols is important
Ensuring that every print job requires log-in credentials where each employee using the printer copier can confirm a print release with a username and password, card access, or access code; can help secure the visibility of information.
2. Encrypt Hard Drives
Encryption will help protect the data stored on your printer copier’s hard drives. Encrypting your hard drives will serve as an added layer of protection to any printed or copied sensitive data.
Through encryption, your printer copier’s drives get encoded so that it remains hidden from unauthorized users. Encrypting your printer copier’s hard drives can enhance the level of security between software applications, client applications, and servers.
Any confidential data stored on your printer copier’s hard drives are protected once encrypted.
3. Turn Off Network Printing
Disabling printing over the internet can close the unlocked door that cybercriminals can use to access your company network.
Consider configuring your network settings to only allow your printer to follow demands that come from your company’s network router.
Keeping in mind your company’s particular printer model, you can disable network printing in various ways. Whether that’s by turning off wireless printing settings via the printer copier or over your computer’s registry settings; disabling this function can be critical in protecting your sensitive data.
Disconnecting your printer/copier after work hours also helps mitigate the connection needed for attackers to compromise your network.
4. Secure Printer Ports
A printer port is a channel in which data gets transferred from a computer to a printer copier. Ports help computers and printer copiers communicate with one another and serve as the middleman between both devices.
Much like disabling network printing when the printer copier is not in use, disabling your printer ports helps protect your device from potential hacking.
Secure your printer ports by enabling Internet Printing Protocol (IPPS) which supports authentication, encryption, and access control printing.
IPPS protocol can be enabled by accessing your Advanced Settings page and then the Configure Protocol page on your printing device.
5. Use A Firewall
Placing your printer copiers behind a firewall can help protect your printer copiers and network from data breaches. A firewall is a hardware or software application that filters incoming and outcoming traffic. It also monitors unauthorized and authorized internet traffic.
Installing firewall protection and keeping it updated on each of your printer copiers is essential in keeping your information secure.
Ready To Secure Your Printer Copier?
As cybersecurity threats increase, printer security needs to be a significant part of the conversation.
After all, a printer copier is technically a computer that can store tons of vital information. While data breaches can be unpredictable, your printer security measures don’t have to be.
At LDI, we help clients implement printer security solutions from card access to firewall software. As a managed services provider, LDI can assist before, during, and after a plausible data breach occurs.
Speak with an LDI representative today to explore your printer security options.