Anyone who’s been using a print device since the 90s will tell you – printers weren’t always as diverse as they are today. Once little more than a feeder, blasting pages with ink as they slowly juddered through its motorised rollers, our print devices are now more versatile and capable than ever.
Now internet enabled, smart-document processing powerhouses with network-connected processes, the multifunction print device is just as much a computer as any laptop on your network; and as such, needs just as much attention when it comes to cyber security.
Thankfully, it’s easier than you might think to identify the gaps in your print setup’s security – you just need to know what to look for.
Your Multi-Function Print Devices (MFDs) no longer just print whatever jobs you feed them; they save and store your prints and scans in their own internal storage. And like any internal storage, you want this protected from theft, be that physical or digital.
When disposing of your print devices, you’ll want to ensure you wipe or destroy the hard drives, cleansing them of any sensitive, recoverable data. Before then, you’ll want that data protected with exactly the same solutions for your network drives and devices; your printer now shares a network with everything else in your office, and is susceptible to all the same hacks, breaches and exploits.
It’s not only your print device that needs secure protection, but the very documents it creates too; because unlike the typical work laptop, your printer is creating physical data that can find itself quite literally falling into the wrong hands.
When your print jobs are actioned instantly, your multi-function devices are creating documents without checking that they’re meeting the right recipient. This means confidential and sensitive data can sit in the paper tray, waiting for anyone curious or malicious enough to make off with the goods. This not only creates a security risk, but a potential GDPR breach too.
It’s unlikely that your MFD’s default settings are tailored perfectly to your company’s security needs, so when your printer is installed, it’s vital that it’s configured from anything besides the basic settings. Without configuring your security and print privileges, your scans, prints, faxes and emails are all potentially at risk – be that via theft or deletion.
Much like hackers can compromise an entire casino simply by hacking the fish tank, hackers can enter your company network via printer vulnerabilities. From there, they can read or even hijack the data entering and exiting your printers. While more companies are shipping their devices with dedicated Anti-Virus, many MFDs– especially earlier ones – were prone to network vulnerabilities that pioneering infosec enthusiasts (and yes, hackers) were all too eager to exploit.
It’s another vulnerability that can easily be fixed with a whole new attitude to your print devices. Give them the same protection and importance of your company’s servers and computers, and the benefits to your company security will be just as profound – if not more so.
How Can You Secure Your Managed Print?
Multi-Factor Authentication – With MFA, print jobs are only released to their rightful owner. Secure your printer with an MFA solution, such as a personal ID device, and your print jobs will only release when you’re ready to pick them up personally.
Data Backup and Disaster Recovery – If your printer’s internal hard drives are compromised, so too are your personal files and documents. Backing up your data and testing your recovery solution means they needn’t be lost forever.
Secure Print Software – Dedicated Secure Print software is often more reliable than the off-the-shelf solutions included with some MFDs. By installing a bespoke solution onto your device’s operating system, you’ll have a much safer, more secure print device.
Managed Print Software – Your employees, whether accidental or otherwise, are a security risk. By managing their individual print capabilities, admins can significantly reduce the likelihood of a data breach following unauthorised or unchecked actions by print users.
There’s no science to securing Managed Print; all it takes is a change of attitude and a little knowledge on common cyber threats.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade to a Managed Print solution or reviewing your company’s Cyber Security solutions, let Mirus IT and Managed Print keep your infrastructure productive and protected.
We’re offering a FREE Secure Print Health Check, without obligation, for small to medium businesses. Discover the gaps in your print security and identify more productive solutions for your print and processes.
Get in touch today
Prepare Your Tech of Today for the Teams of Tomorrow.
Our free eBook, The Makings of the Modern Workplace, gets you familiar with the technologies and teams that’ll take your business into the future.
Download by clicking the eBook.