When it comes to accessing your network, hackers know where the weak spots are. More than half of companies don’t properly secure their printers, leaving an open door for criminals to enter the network, stealing data and leaving havoc in their wake. Simply put, printers are a hackers dream.
Why are printers so vulnerable?
Printers introduce risk to your business at several levels.
- Printers make the network vulnerable. Every unprotected device you add to your network adds a new opportunity for hackers to gain access, but printers are especially vulnerable. Many companies overlook them when developing security protocols, get lax on upkeep, and do not understand the risk they’re taking.
- Printers can be attacked in many ways. Once into your printer, hackers can affect your business in a variety of ways. They can begin a denial of service attack, crippling your business. Data can be stolen from the printer’s hard drive, and access can be gained to other parts of your network. Your printer may start printing random jobs, changing settings, or randomly faxing.
- Low-tech attacks cause damage too. A breach can be as simple as someone standing beside the printer viewing confidential information in the output tray. Employees or members of the public who access data without authorization put your customers and employees at risk, and may put you out of regulatory compliance.
Fixing your printer security problem can be easy.
There are many simple changes you can make to help protect your printers from hackers.
- Encrypt all your data, especially from mobile devices.
- Regularly erase data from the printer’s hard drive and be sure it is fully erased or destroyed when you get rid of it.
- Require user authentication, and implement pull-printing protocols for sensitive data.
- Keep firmware up to date.
- Use management tools to track and fix any issues as they arise.
Your printer is essential to your business, but it is also a risk. Taking the time to implement security protocols that include your printer can help prevent hackers from gaining access to your network and your sensitive data, saving you from a costly data breach.