Most people realize that there is a risk with their computers in terms of viruses and getting hacked. Many of us have also had our emails hacked. In fact, some of you may even have had an email from yourself asking you to visit some Russian pharmacy’s website or whatever the case may be!
However, many people do not realize that printers are also vulnerable in terms of security. In fact, around half of the companies don’t even think about their printers in this way, leaving it vulnerable. This can affect business big time. Let’s take a look at printer security and how to protect your printers.
1. Keeping Print Jobs Private
In order to avoid problems with a network printer, the simple thing to do is not network your printer. If you connect directly from a PC by way of a USB, it will help to keep your office printers and print jobs private.
2. WPA2 Encryption
Hackers can cause chaos if wireless printers are providing a weak spot for them to attack. To protect against this, WPA2 encryption is absolutely critical. Wireless printers also store data even after a print job is done. You can set it so that after a job is done, data can be eliminated. If you need it stored indefinitely, it should be encrypted. It is also important that you have newer and more secure printers that can be updated with security features. Older printers may not be supported by manufacturers anymore, so consider getting rid of older models.
3. Changing Default Passwords
Many network printers can be accessed by someone in a remote location. They just need to use a password. It is important to change the default password which is a critical step for a networked printer.
4. Update Firmware
Sometimes security issues will crop up and when that happens, printer makers will release updates and it is important to update your firmware always. You should always try to close any security openings by keeping the firmware up-to-date. Use a strong password to keep your printer secure. All of this will help to avert some basic issues of the network printer.
5. Securing Data
Whenever you do a print job, make sure that it is on a secure network. This means you must use encryption so that there is very little chance of this data being intercepted. In fact, a print job can be sent to an encrypted print server and then pulled from it when it is ready. You can also help to keep content secure by disabling physical ports and reducing entry points and also make use of a PIN or password when employees need to use a printer. When you reduce entry points, it does help to prevent hackers from gaining access.
Printers are generally an easy target for cyber attacks. Hackers can also get access to other devices. In fact, they have the ability to change settings and make your faxes and printers do random things! Your data can be stolen and it could bring your business to a standstill. Yes, it is frightening, but this is the reality of it. By being as secure as possible and using encryption, you can help to lessen the chances of these things happening.