Printer Security: Why It’s Important and What To Do

Printer Security: Why It’s Important and What To Do

Printer security has been in the news over the last year, famously for the PewdiePie printer hacking incident, but is a wider issue than we seem to realise. Yet fewer than 50% of business currently protect personal identifiable information, especially in relation to printing-base processes. Multi-Function Printers (MFPs) are in fact vulnerable to attacks and thus the General Data Privacy Regulation are requesting enterprises to protect their print infrastructure from cyber attack, which could range from malicious external cyber attack to documents being left on a shared device. In both cases sensitive printed documents can end up in the hands of unauthorised recipients. Pretty much every MFP currently on the market could be a target for hackers who aim to use them as a way to access corporate networks. However, print security is generally something which is overlooked by even the largest of firms, and personal identifiable information is rarely protected.

Ensuring security should be a twofold procedure when it comes to print security. Firstly, printers must be secured, and then the printing processes must also be secured. The latter usually entails a multi-faceted approach ensuring data is protected at the print environment level. Although there is a lot of focus on data privacy, it is usually at the digital level that measures are implemented. Most businesses forget about the security risks that poor control of print-reliant processes and working culture poses. This needs to change if we want to limit risk and demonstrate compliance. So how can enterprises secure printers from the potential threats? Here are some simple tips:

The first level of security is done by applying the latest firmware updates as manufactures are trying to fix vulnerabilities including serious security issues with their printers and they might also include other features that could make your printers more secure. You can also use admin tools to make this process simpler such as HP Web Jetadmin, which is not restricted to HP printers alone. The next step you can take is to ensure you printer has an internal IP address. You can also restrict connectivity to a specific LAN. Many business printers have a PIN system whereby you can enter a PIN to start the print job. Not only does this add an extra level of security but also ensures less paper is wasted. The next crucial step is to making sure that remote printing is secure. There are other levels of security that can be implemented, such as making sure your printer’s hard disk is encrypted and if you decide to scrap a printer make sure that the hard disk is professionally wiped. If the printer is administered over the internet, then enable SSL to ensure all communications take place over https. Hopefully these tips should ensure security to an acceptable level. However, there are additional ways to approach the process of securing your printer. Getting a Secure Print Analysis from HP is a good way to start.

For affordable printer ink and laser toner cartridges for personal, home and business use, check out our low-cost ink cartridges and toner cartridges.

Printer Security, why is it important and what do you do to secure your printer