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Do You Need Printer Security?

It’s natural for a business to be concerned about their security, but many tend to lack the appropriate measures needed for keeping their printer safe.

Protecting your printer with appropriate security has previously been viewed as an unnecessary task, but considering that a huge data breach and leak of sensitive information could be inflicted if you don’t take precautions, it’s essential for your business to be using the appropriate software.

Hacking is a common issue and can cause damage to the smooth running of your business, but how do you prevent it and what measures need to be taken?

We share all you need to know about printer security and how to protect your business’ private documents from unwanted intruders:

What is printer security?

Because printers receive files from a computer, laptop or other device, they need to be connected to a network; whether it’s wirelessly or through a cable. Despite being relatively safe when used responsibly, they are susceptible to viruses and malicious software from hackers.

If your printer is accessible through the internet, attackers have the ability to print thousands of documents using your supplies and machinery; which can be costly when you factor in printing costs.

Hackers could also alter the settings on your printer and retrieve copies of documents you’ve previously sent to it; tainting the data stored on your devices’ internal drive. This eavesdropping method of hacking would be able to view sensitive information and put the security of both your business and clients at risk.

Your printer can also fall victim to a physical security breach. This happens when somebody with direct access to the computer alters the settings and views private documents.

How to protect your printer from a possible security breach

Many business owners worry about their sensitive information falling into the wrong hands. However, you can protect yourself against this happening by taking the following steps:
Full length of businesswoman using computer printer

Network security

One of the simplest ways to ensure that your printer is protected is to update the software regularly. These updates often patch up ‘security holes’ and fix other problems that may be occurring.

You can also protect your device by securing user traffic on your network. Finding out whether or not your printer supports encrypted connections can help to avoid intruders snooping on your files and minimising the chances of your documents being picked up. The Xerox Phaser 6600DN Laser Printer has SSL protection built-in.

Using password protection is also a proven way to keep your data secure, but further steps are required to stop a hacker in their tracks. An administrator password alone is relatively easy for an experienced hacker to bypass, so consult your printer to find the Access Control List and determine who has permission to use it.

Physical security

Working in a busy office, it’s not uncommon for employees to ‘forget’ about the security measures needing to be actioned when printing files from a device.
Asian businessman in office

Placing printers in an area that is visible to other people in the office can help them to be constantly monitored; eliminating the chances of somebody trying to view private documents. Printers that have password protection can also help with this.

Despite many of the common problems with printer security occurring throughout the actual printing process, your sensitive documents are still at risk once they’ve been printed. Best practice is to always check that your file has been fully printed before you leave the machine; avoiding the chance of accidentally leaving private material in such a public area. Sensitive data should also be shredded when they are no longer needed.

If you’re concerned about printer security, it’s a good idea to assess your devices now and optimise them for best use. Alternatively, you can get in touch with the team here at Printerland and discuss how you can protect your documents from being viewed once printing is complete.