Your office printers are just as vulnerable to security threats as any desktop or laptop computer. All it takes is one small crack in your network’s armor.
Unfortunately, it doesn't take much for a single sneaky hacker—or even an ill-intentioned “guest” within the office walls—can gain easy access to your most sensitive information and wreak business havoc.
Thankfully, along with serious threats also come smart, innovative tactics and state-of-the-art technology designed to defend any attack. But how do you really know if your printers are secure against your company’s biggest hidden villains?
Here are five of the top ways you can ensure that your printers are safe and secure:
1. Your Firmware Is Always Up-to-Date
Always stay up-to-date on your printer’s firmware. Hackers are continuously discovering new ways to infiltrate computer networks. To fight back, printer manufacturers are constantly developing new solutions. One of the most effective solutions is called a firmware patch.
Patches do precisely what it sounds like they should. They mend holes within the network, so it’s harder for hackers to sneak through. However, it’s your responsibility to download and install any newly recommended patches onto your system.
Failing to update these new versions of firmware will significantly heighten your print security risk.
2. Your Printer Fleet Isn’t Outdated
It might feel like your trusty, old office printer could shoot out fresh pages forever. But, in actuality, print devices should be replaced at least every seven years—no matter how well the device works.
That's because print manufacturers usually stop releasing security updates for a printer seven years after they stop making the machine. So, although the individual printer might still be technically working like a charm, its outdated security measures could leave your entire company vulnerable to danger.
3. Your Printers are from Reputable Manufacturers
Out-of-the-box, the HP line of printers are hands-down the most secure devices on the market. Some of the most cutting-edge print security technology like Sure Start and Whitelisting comes standard on any new HP printer.
That said, other manufacturers can catch up to HP's level of security with software add-ons like PaperCut, or with thorough employee training sessions. Still, always do ample research to ensure that whatever device you choose boasts an excellent reputation when it comes to security.
4. All Employees Are Well-Trained On Print Security
Technology is a fantastic tool. But even the best tools can only go so far. In the end, it's your people who are at the security frontlines.
For example, how many times have you walked by a printer and seen a stack of papers sitting in the tray unaccompanied? Can you imagine the potential harm if those papers held confidential information—and ended up in the wrong person's hands?
And that's just one example. Do all of your employees understand the importance of updating their firewalls, shredding sensitive documents, or spotting phishing scams?
These scary scenarios might sound obvious for any CEO, CTO, or CFO. However, the average person probably wouldn't think twice about most of them. That's why it's critical that each member of the team is fully educated and trained on proper printer security protocol.
5. You’ve Had Print Security Assessment from a Qualified Team
Your organization might have the best in-house IT team on the planet. But unless your team members are also verified print security experts, even the best can only go so far in assessing your business' print security levels.
That's why it's critical to contact a professionally managed print provider who is qualified to conduct a print security assessment for your organization. During the evaluation, the MPS provider will thoroughly analyze your organization's current print environment with an emphasis on your current security measures.
Once the analysis is complete, the print security partner will provide a report with recommendations on how to optimize your office for security. This could include employee training, device refreshes, and software updates. From here, you can make the best, fully-informed decisions regarding your company's level of print security.
Stop wondering if your company's printers are really secure. Call the trusted, reliable print security experts at imageOne! Schedule a 15-minute Discovery Call today, and we'll set up your FREE print security assessment.