Here’s How You Can Print Securely

A hacker named @HackerGiraffe last year launched a worldwide hack by searching a list of publicly available printers and then writing a script; thousands of printers around the world then began printing out their messages. It was that easy.

The office printer is often overlooked when it comes to a digital security strategy. Hackers understand this and look to small businesses, that often lack the necessary security, to launch attacks like @HackerGiraffe. Fortunately, this attack was harmless and was meant to spread a message in support of PewDiePie, the YouTube celebrity, encouraging people to start watching him.

Print Security is a MUST

Most networked printers have Internet access and a hard drive. Basically, they’re like any other devices on your network. Multifunction printers typically store everything printed and copied on their hard drive. These images can then be accessed by anyone on your network that has access to the device.

3 Steps to Printer Security

Like any other unprotected network device, a printer that is unprotected becomes an open door to your network. It can be hacked, infected with viruses or malware, or highjacked for a denial of service attack. Every business is at risk, regardless of size.

Here are three steps to take to secure your print environment.

Step 1: Assess and Design

Start with your network. Map every device and make sure data is secure at every point to and from the printer. To do this, control access and always include print devices in any network encryption strategies.

Step 2: Deploy

Use available tools to protect your sensitive data. This includes both cybersecurity and print management software. Update devices to keep security patches current, password protect all devices and implement user-access controls to track and monitor usage.

Step Three: Get your Team Up to Speed

Make sure your team knows everything your printer can do, and explain the importance of following security protocols. Use “at device” authentication to ensure jobs are only printed when the user is present to reduce document theft at the device.

Whether you’re seeking to secure your printers or maximize efficiency, consider a Managed IT Services solution. Call us today for a free assessment and let us show you how we can improve your print environment security, increase productivity, lower costs, and help you grow your business.