Cybercrimes are on the rise, with thousands of businesses falling victim each year. Hackers are always on the lookout for ways to access your data and disrupt your business. If you have a networked printer, as many businesses do, you may be leaving yourself open to attack.

More devices create more risk

For every unprotected device you allow on your network, you are increasing your risk of being a victim of a cyberattack. Through a single device, a hacker can access data throughout your network, conduct a denial of service attack, and wreak havoc on your network. Printers are especially vulnerable because they are often overlooked when security protocols are developed.

Encrypted data can help minimize any damage should someone gain access, and is especially important if you allow mobile devices to print. If a device isn’t being used, disconnect it from the network. If you have ports and protocols on your printer that are unused, disable them.

Unauthorized Access

Hackers can get onto your printer and steal the data, both from the hard drive of the printer and other unsecured devices. Even once you take your printer out of service, that hard drive can pose a threat. However, your printer poses another low-tech risk as well. Whenever you print confidential data, unauthorized people could see or steal those pages off the printer tray.

A good security protocol will include ways to ensure that only authorized people have access to your data. Printer hard drives should be regularly erased, and specific protocols should be followed to fully delete and destroy all data when you get rid of your printer.

User authentication is essential to good security. Passwords, swipe cards and other methods can all help secure your system, as well as track who is using the printer. For businesses that regularly print confidential information, pull-printing can help eliminate the stealing of physical pages and the information they contain.

Printers pose a variety of risks and can be attacked in many different ways. As many as 60% of businesses have suffered a cyberattack related to a printer. By keeping your printer firmware and security protocols up to date, you can help reduce your risk of being attacked.