This time last year a hacker who was supposedly showing support for famous YouTuber and comedian PewDiePie accessed 50,000 printer systems to spread propaganda. Most people don’t know that printers are at risk, but jobs can be intercepted when sent to a printer. So, what do you need to do about printer security? And how can it affect you?
Fewer than 50% of businesses currently protect personal identifiable information in printing processes, according to inkntoneruk. Printer security is generally overlooked which is not surprising as it’s not really something you think about is it?
Which printers are at risk?
Multi-Function printers are vulnerable to attacks, and hackers target them in order to infiltrate corporate networks.
How can you secure your printer?
If your company uses encryption, print jobs are converted in to a complex code so that sensitive information can’t be retrieved. Hard drives in your computer should also be encrypted to add another layer of protection. The more difficult you make things for hackers the better.
Set up an authorisation system
It’s probably not a good idea to let anyone and everyone send print jobs to your printer. Having an authorisation system in place means that unauthorised persons cannot access the print queue or send harmful files to the device.
Change your passwords
All printers come with default passwords. Hackers know all the default passwords and openly share them with each other, so it’s important for you to change the default password as soon as possible.
Make sure your printers are up-to-date
Hackers prey on websites, servers and devices that are not up-to-date, as it means the security measures are also not recent, and they are easy to exploit.
It is also important that the firmware (the permanent software that is already programmed in to your printer to make it function) is always up-to-date.
When we think of a data breach, we usually think of a hacker somehow getting access to a server or computer to get sensitive information, but many data breaches are not like this at all.
Many hackers actually physically enter buildings of target companies and pick up carelessly-abandoned paperwork. Documents left in a printer tray are easy-pickings.
Choose a secure printer
Companies who experience data breaches leading to a loss of personal data can be fined large amounts, so it’s important to buy printers which have strong security features.
Get rid of functions you don’t need
The more processes you have running, the more possible entry points there are for hackers to access your system. Multi-functional printers come with lots of useful features built in, but you probably won’t need them all. Disabling unnecessary processes will ensure faster printing and make your printer more secure.
Make sure remote printing access is secure. Only give restricted access to people you know and trust.
If you decide to get rid of your printer, make sure that the hard disk is professionally wiped. Don’t leave potentially sensitive information so easily accessible.
If you’d like to find out more, then you can get a free, secure print analysis from HP. Click here.