Most of today’s business interactions are conducted electronically, meaning that organizations must capture and preserve critical metadata. This would include details like terms or dates an agreement was co-signed to provide sufficient grounds for supporting a dispute if one arises in the future. This makes businesses more worried about network security. However, one important aspect is often overlooked by businesses, which is their printers’ security and corporate network connection.
Print network security is a critical component of any organization’s overall security plan. It is important to take steps to ensure that printers, copiers, and other print devices are secure and protected from potential vulnerabilities.
Although your company might not consider printer security in the same way that it does with computer or router security, it is still crucial to keep these devices secure, just like other networked devices.
Before getting into the details of having effective print network security, let us review potential device risks.
Firmware and BIOS
BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is a type of firmware that is stored on a computer’s motherboard. It is the first application launched when a computer is turned on, and it is in charge of initializing, testing, and providing an interface through which the operating system can access the hardware.
This sensitive system lives below antivirus software, so if any piece of malware is encountered there, it won’t be seen by any other programs installed on the device! To protect yourself from being hacked, remember to always update all drivers and firmware before using new hardware with old versions- plus make sure not too many people have access.
When a problem is detected with the printer’s BIOS, it takes on its golden copy, separates electronically, and replaces any problematic information to continue functioning normally.
Printer management is often misinterpreted as buying a secured printer, which instead asks for keeping the firmware up-to-date. It is the most frequently disregarded print server network security flaw.
Glitches in the printer’s firmware are becoming more and more common, especially as hackers target these devices for vulnerabilities. Updating your device to modernized software will help keep it safe from cyber threats like this!
Network, Capture, and Mobile Printing
Despite distinct workflows, Network, Capture, and Mobile Printing are all related terms. Vulnerable connection points during the communication of these devices, such as traffic between two PCs at home compared to one connected printer next door, may allow hackers to access devices connected to local networks or the internet.
Print Network Security can be prioritized by setting permissions for users on the printer; it’s important to use the least privilege approach. This means they should only have access rights as required by their job function and nothing more. This makes the usage of the control panel an important task to prevent unauthorized access to printers.
Practicing PoLP, the principle of least privilege, helps keep companies safe while balancing user needs.
The printer is not the only storage device vulnerable to hacking. Paper, inkjet, and laser printers all use hard drives to store data that can easily be accessed by hackers, even if they are encrypted with old or weak algorithms, making them an easy target for any criminal seeking to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers!
Another vulnerability is the output tray. Users often forget about a document they printed or print it to the wrong printer, in either case leaving their sensitive information vulnerable if accessed by an attacker walking past at just the right time! This issue can be eliminated with secure pull printing software that requires users to verify each job before sending them off for processing – making sure no one but you sees what was meant only For Your Eyes Only.
Ways To Encourage Print Network Security
There are many different ways of securing your printer. We’ll cover some generic steps and use examples where possible in this article for you!
Keep Your Printer Firmware Updated
Prolonging the life of your printer is important, so it’s worth checking for updates from time to time. By keeping your printer’s firmware updated, one gets improved performance, greater compatibility, and better security. Additionally, benefits can be obtained from the latest features and technologies, saving money on energy costs. Keeping your printer firmware up-to-date is an easy way to ensure that your printer operates at its best and with the greatest reliability ensuring print network security.
Limit The Access to Printers
To avoid printer access issues, ensure that only those with permission can use it. Limiting access to printers can be done by defining the network IP addresses of your devices or adding a new account to set up port forwarding on their computers so they can connect properly when needed.
Beware of Automatic Reports of Printer Activity
Check to see if your hardware can record the number of pages printed. If not, put up a procedure to automatically gather and report this data from vendors, or have personnel go out periodically and do it manually!
Change the Default Password to a Strong Passphrase
Hackers are constantly looking for ways to get into your computer or mobile device. By default, most printers have administrator usernames and passwords that they can use when hacking them remotely, which is a huge security risk!
Changing its default password is the best method to keep your printer secure from hackers while prioritizing print server network security.
Confirm Security Controls
Security measures must be reviewed and confirmed when deploying printers into sensitive areas. Systems often go through Common Criteria testing for approved devices – these include:
- Security audit
- Cryptographic support
- Access control
- Storage data encryption
- Identification and authentication
- Administrative roles
- Trusted operations
- Device access
- Trusted communications
- PSTN fax-network separation
Printers are vulnerable to potential threats, which are often overlooked by businesses. However, taking the measures defined above, all the weak points and printer security of businesses can be rectified.
To learn more about print network security, contact On Demand today. Our team of print experts can help determine the best options to reduce your Houston company’s risk.