When it comes to running a business, it’s not uncommon to be concerned about the security of your technology. However, many tend to be unaware that their printer can be susceptible to hackers and with the machine often being used to print sensitive documents, it’s important to keep it secure.
If you don’t take the necessary precautions, a huge data breach could occur and your business’ documents can be visible to anyone able to hack the machine.
Here are some security tips that you can use to protect your printer, and avoid the chances of unwanted intruders eavesdropping on your files.
Why does my printer need to be secure?
Printers work by receiving files from a device such as a PC or mobile, and can be connected wirelessly or through a network cable. Although these connections are relatively safe and secure, they are still able to be hacked and become the victim of malicious software.
The hackers who do this can retrieve previous documents that have been sent to the printer, which taints the data that is stored on your machines’ internal drive. This can put your business at risk, especially when you heavily use the printer to create physical copies of sensitive and private documents.
Attackers who manage to ‘break into’ your machine can print documents over a wireless network, which can cost your business monetarily. This can have an effect on your printers’ running cost, adding up the amount you spend on consumables.
Protecting your printer
When using the appropriate printer security methods, your files, documents and private data is at minimal risk. You can use the following tips to protect both the machine and your business:
In a workplace with many employees, the security of your printer can be aided by placing printers in areas of the office that is accompanied. Not only will this help with monitoring the printer usage in the event that the machine is hacked, but you can constantly view who is using the machine to prevent hacking.
This method also aids with protecting the documents after they have been printed. Sensitive documents and private information is still at risk after the printer has done its job, and its best practice ensure that the full document has been completed before leaving the machine.
Personal documents should be shredded and/or permanently destroyed when they are no longer needed.
With many printer hackings taking place wirelessly, you will also want to secure the network that your devices use. This can be done by ensuring that software is updated regularly, which can patch-up holes in your machines’ built-in security.
Your printer can also be protected by securing user traffic on your network, and finding out whether your printer is able to support encrypted connections. This allows the machine to be secure against hackers viewing and printing documents, and some printers have this built into the model.
Passwords can also be used on printers, further aiding with security. However, the following tips can be implemented to ensure that the password protection is not bypassed:
- Use a strong password that includes special characters
- View the permissions on your printer’s Access Control List
- Do not use the username or password as “admin” or “administrator” as this can be easily guessed by a hacker
As you can see, your printer can be protected against hackers and unwanted software by following general precautions and securing your machine effectively.