Last year, a hacker named @HackerGiraffe launched a worldwide hack by searching a list of publicly available printers and writing an automated script; thousands of printers around the world then began randomly printing out their messages. It was that easy.
Printers are often overlooked when it comes to a business’ security strategy. Hackers know this and often look to small businesses to launch an attack like @HackerGiraffe. Fortunately, his attack was benign and meant to bring attention to the issue of printer security.
Today, Print Security is Crucial
Your printer has network access, internet connectivity, and most likely a hard drive. It’s basically another computer on your network. Multifunction printers typically store everything that’s placed on the glass in an internal hard drive. These images can then be accessed over your network by anyone that can access the device.
3 Steps to Secure Printing
Like any other unprotected, networked device, your printer is an access point to your entire network. It can be hacked, infected with viruses, or highjacked for denial of service attacks. Every business regardless of size is at risk.
Here are three steps to securing your print environment and network.
Step 1: Assess and Design
Start by looking at your network. Map every device and make sure data is protected to and from the printer. To do this, control access to the printer and always include your print devices in your overall security strategy.
Step 2: Deploy
Use all available tools to protect sensitive data. This includes both cybersecurity and print management software. Update devices to keep security patches current, password protect devices and implement user-access controls to audit users.
Step 3: Get Your Team Onboard
Familiarize your team with everything your printers can do and explain the importance of security. Use “at device” authentication to ensure jobs are only printed when the user is present. This reduces document theft at the printer.
Whether you need to secure your print network, or maximize efficiency, consider a Managed IT Services provider. Give us a call today and let us show you how a Managed IT solution can improve security, increase productivity and lower your costs.