While wireless printers take a bit more setup than standard wired printers, you and your employees gain the flexibility to place your devices anywhere and the cost savings of having a printer that can accept jobs from any device on your network.
But don’t forget, securing your network includes securing your wireless printers. Without the proper setup, security software, and end-user training, the only thing standing between a hacker and access to your entire network is one password. Having a secure password is just the beginning (albeit an essential and oft-overlooked step!). To keep your printers, network, and business safe, follow these five steps to secure your wireless printers.
1. Update the Default Security Settings
We love a good printer unboxing as much as any IT professional, but a freshly unboxed wireless printer still needs some work before it can be securely unleashed on your network.
The default settings on most print devices still need some configuring. In fact, there are more than 250 security settings on modern print devices. Ensuring you’ve correctly configured your printer can seem overwhelming, but printer security software tools can help you. Software like HP Security Manager and PaperCut can automatically lock down all security settings and establish fleet-wide security policies. That way, all printers added to your network automatically adopt your airtight security policies.
2. Set a Strong Password
When it comes to passwords, you’ve already done the hard part: developed strict policies, educated employees, and enforced those policies -- when it comes to your PC fleet. Don’t forget to apply the same caution and care when setting your wireless printer login credentials. If you’re not using printer security software, this password is all that stands between a hacker and your entire network -- and hackers know that printers are often the path of least resistance.
3. Enable Print LogsPrint logs allow you to track user access and login attempts, but more importantly, it might be the only way you’ll notice if your printer (and network and data) were compromised. A study conducted by IBM reports that the average time to identify a breach in 2020 was 228 days. Enabling your printer logs gives you a way to monitor your wireless printer security before you notice the impact of a network breach.
4. Invest in Self-Healing PrintersWe love talking about these HP Enterprise devices because it feels like we’re in a sci-fi movie! But self-healing printers are a reality and a great way to protect against malicious activity on your devices.
This technology actively detects, stops, and recovers from any BIOS attacks or corruption -- without you or your team having to intervene. In addition, every time you fire up your computer, your self-healing printer verifies the integrity of the BIOS code to keep your computer safe from cyberattacks via your printer.
5. Update, and Update QuicklyThe world of cyber security is constantly changing to keep up with the ingenuity of hackers. To keep your printers, your network, and your data safe, always install printer manufacturers’ firmware patches - and install them quickly! When manufacturers alert you to new security patches, hackers and those who wish to harm you get that same alert. That means waiting even a day leaves a gaping window of opportunity for potential attacks.
Your organization’s wireless printers help keep your business running smoothly. But, as an IT professional, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the technologies that make employees’ lives easier don’t turn into expensive and time-consuming security vulnerabilities.
By following these steps and partnering with print security experts, you’ll ensure your printers and network stay safe and sound. Not sure your printers are secure? Sign up for a free printer security consultation with the experts at imageOne.