Why print security should be a top priority.
Threats to cyber security are on the rise, which means that various industries need to change the nature of how they do business by fully integrating digital technology and data. In the past, businesses would only ensure that their internal software was protected against such risks, however, more and more businesses are realizing that printers can be a vulnerable entry point for hackers to exploit.
Potential challenges your business may face.
It is necessary to understand the security risks your business faces, related to printers. Regardless of the size and nature of your business, some common vulnerabilities related to print devices that may be encountered are as follows:
1. When the firmware is not regularly updated and access credentials are easily compromised, businesses become more susceptible to being hacked, among other security breaches.
2. When multiple printers and/or mobile devices are connected, data can easily be lost in translation. As a result, the vulnerability to access unauthorized data also increases, creating greater threats to your business and its reputation.
3. With the Internet’s universe increasing, so does the potential for a botnet’s size and power, (several connected devices to attack a system or steal data). Botnets can infect almost any device connected directly or wirelessly to the internet.
How your business can prevent this.
Once businesses understand these risks, they require a comprehensive risk assessment strategy. There are multiple layers to print security – the device itself, the network, and the documents/information they produce. Here are a few prevention strategies to adopt:
- Regular updates of the operating system: upgrade the firmware and patch devices to ensure all potentials risks are prevented. Older devices that are not patchable are a particular security risk. Applying automatic firmware updates is a good idea.
- Strengthen the process for accessing credentials and change passwords – regularly monitor and track the usage of the print machines. By following security-oriented protocols, businesses can ensure that unauthorized employees cannot access the print queue or send harmful files to the device.
- Upon setting up an office’s new printer or multifunctional device, changing the default password to a more secure password should be one of the first changes made.
Security training is key: businesses need to ensure that all employees have undergone adequate security training on the importance of protecting or printing sensitive information and raise awareness of relevant malicious threats. All organizations must better educate and train end users on the potential security risks associated with printing.
How the print industry can help.
Given that multifunctional printers are as connected as any other IT endpoint, print security must be treated as a fundamental element of the broader security strategy. Tri-Copy utilizes solutions and precautionary measures to encourage the protection of all print machines.
One such solution on the market is Managed Print Services, which allows seamless integrations between an existing IT environment and print devices with minimal disruption. In addition to encouraging print security, with the introduction of such solutions, the print industry has also improved businesses in the following manner:
Reduced waste: print security management and solutions have ensured that no document is printed without the relevant protocol. These include processes such as– user authentication, user analytics, secure document release, job tracking, charge back and accounting, and rules-based printing.
Strong security measures: Print firms have enabled businesses to become more aware of the protocols in place as MPS comes in many forms, from entry level packages that wrap hardware, service and supplies based on a cost-per-page contract, to more sophisticated enterprise engagements that include document workflow. Change and continuous management are integrated into print machines, so business can monitor and track their activities.
Increased convenience: Solutions like the managed print services (MPS) have improved productivity within the office environment. A smart, sophisticated device, which offloads itself to a server for security, it has evolved to become an integral document processing hub capable of handling print, copy, fax, scan, and email.
Overall, all organizations must understand the risks faced through hardware such as printers and address them on a proactive basis. To support this, Tri-Copy uses print management tools which are integrated in broader IT security management tools to provide remote warning notifications for errors or unusual activity. Common measures have also been recommended for business to adopt and, in turn, minimize the risk of exposing confidential information, which helps keep both company and customer information safe. Call Tri-Copy to schedule a consultation for your business.