Times have changed. Every year, technology becomes more sophisticated—and the printing industry has been part of that. However, as printer and network securities advance, so do the methods hackers use to infiltrate a company’s systems.
Don’t fall behind on the times. Ensure your printer and document security is safe and up-to-date from a potential breach with these tips and tricks.
Conduct a Security Assessment
It’s always smart to work with an experienced, trusted managed print services provider. However, there are several steps you can take independently to assess your current level of printer security.
- What device model am I using?
- How many ports are open on my devices?
- Am I up to date on my firmware?
- How old are my devices?
The last one is an especially common problem for many companies. If one of your devices is no longer getting any firmware security updates, it’s likely at the end of its life. However, many businesses attempt to cut corners and save money by continuing to utilize old machines.
Those few dollars saved could instead create a terrible—and potentially costly—vulnerability for your network.
Great, Then What?
Once you’ve completed a thorough security assessment, it’s time to take the next steps.
First, contact the device’s manufacturer and check that all of the latest firmware is entirely up-to-date. The manufacturer’s website will also contain valuable information on which versions might have some security risk.
Do you use multiple devices from multiple manufacturers? Then, this process of contacting manufacturers, checking every model, and updating the firmware can be tedious and time-consuming. However, it’s critical work that can potentially save you time, money, and your customer’s trust.
Also, devices that exceed seven or eight years of age are likely out-of-date. At this point, it’s time to replace the machine. They simply can’t beat modern security threats.
The machine itself might work just fine, but even with updates, the security software can only do so much when facing new malware technology. The best way to stay safe is by getting new devices.
Use Software to Your Advantage
There are two categories of printer software that help with security. The first manages security on the actual device. The second handles the users and what they’re printing.
The first category is manufacturer-specific. For example, HP has a program called Security Manager while Lexmark has Markvision. Every company has a product to manage the device, ensure the firmware is current, and catalog any potential security risks. The exact options available are limited to what those manufacturers currently offer.
The other type of software controls the user side of the device. It provides access to who can print, what they can print, and the amount they can print.
One popular product is called PaperCut. This program is loaded onto a print server and allows users to restrict access to a device. It can also require print authentication at the device itself. This reduces the chance of documents ending up in the wrong hands.
This user-focused approach to security is flexible because it can be applied to many machines, regardless of manufacturer. It also trains employees to follow proper security protocols.
Avoid This Common Mistake
One of the biggest mistakes we see companies make is also perhaps the easiest to avoid. However, we see it happen again and again.
If you’ve set up a printer or copier, you know that every manufacturer sets a default password allowing for initial access into the device. During set-up, the instructions are clear: change the default password once you’ve installed the equipment.
Easy enough, right?
Surprisingly, many businesses never take the time to change the default password—a password that’s published on the manufacturer’s website and easy to locate.
As you can probably guess, hackers know exactly what these passwords are. This provides them a perfect place to start if they’re trying to hack into your network. It’s almost like having a sticky note on your computer with the password written on it.
Don’t give these villans an easy target. Change that password as quickly as possible, and your device security will instantly become tighter than ever.
Ready to take your printer and document security to the next level? We’d love to help you! Schedule a 15-minute consultation and the imageOne team will show you the way.