With an exponential increase in high-profile cyberattacks over the past few years, business leaders are ramping up their efforts to ensure that their networks are secure. But like a chain, a company’s network is only as strong as its weakest link. And unfortunately, many organizations (and perhaps your own!) often overlook that weakest link(s)…your printers and/or copiers! Yes, your networked printers are vulnerable to cyberattacks and if your printer security is weak, you’re inviting trouble. Here are five ways to keep your printers secure.

1. Keep your network locked down.

The first thing you need to do if your users connect to printers on your network is to make sure your environment is already secure with firewall protection, encryption and is secured with a strong password. It is a good idea to route your data through an encrypted server for an additional layer of protection. This prevents cyber criminals from intercepting your data while it is in transit.

2. Change your printer passwords regularly.

A strong network security policy requires users to change their passwords on a regular basis. It is also important to change the passwords used to secure your printing devices. At a minimum, these passwords should be changed at least every 90 days. The passwords should be extremely secure and include a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols.

data protection, printer security concept

3. Keep up to date with your printers’ firmware.

It is crucial to keep your printing devices up to date with the latest updates, including firmware and security patches. Be proactive by installing updates helps prevent hackers from exploiting known vulnerabilities that your printing equipment might have. Pay attention to your aging equipment that will eventually age-out of manufacturer updates. Unsupported and outdated equipment is very attractive to hackers that are ready to exploit its vulnerabilities.

4. Protect sensitive documents with a hold solution.

Unless you have implemented a document hold solution, anyone that is near your printers can see whatever documents are printed, including sensitive ones. Implementing a document hold solution ensures that sensitive documents can only be viewed by those who printed them.

5. Remember to secure your onboard hard drives.

Printers with onboard storage for spooling should have encryption enabled for their hard drives. This prevents unauthorized access to data that could be stored in print histories. Before retiring or moving old machines, make sure that their hard drives are removed or wiped.

Don’t make it easy for cybercriminals to gain access to your organization’s business data. Use these five tips to keep your printers from being an easy target for hackers.

About Modern Office Methods (MOM)

Modern Office Methods has helped businesses navigate their document challenges for over 60 years. They offer Production Print Solutions, Managed Print Services, Software Solutions and IT Services to help enhance their customers’ business processes while reducing expenses.

For the latest industry trends and technology insights visit MOM’s main Blog page.