As modern entrepreneurs, we all know how important it is to protect our data in this day and age. Companies spend a significant amount of time, money, and effort on building a secure IT infrastructure that will help protect crucial data from hackers. But oftentimes, printer security is overlooked. You might think a paper jam is the worst damage your printer can cause. Unfortunately, printers and other multifunction devices that are connected to a network can be just as vulnerable to malware and hackers as your computers.
Let’s take a look at the foremost printer security best practices to help secure your company’s data.
Understand your network connections
Understanding how your printers are networked to the internet is a great starting point. Evaluate the printers in your office to see which ones are connected to the network. If a printer doesn’t need to be on the network, it’s best practice to remove it. (Think of a desktop printer used by one person—there’s no need for it to have internet access.) If you have a printer that is on the network but not secure, unplug it from the network until your IT team can add the proper security measures. Hackers cannot access the printer when it’s off the network.
The best printer security methods start with encryption, especially when considering your company’s sensitive and confidential data. For example, if your print job happens to get intercepted on the way to the printer by a hacker, the encrypted data will be unreadable rendering it useless. Any information that is stored on the hard drive of your printers and copiers should also be encrypted for better protection.
Password protect everything
This may sound basic, but password protection may be overlooked when it comes to your office printers. Remember, these printers have hard drives full of data just like your computers. So, it’s important to make sure you change all of your printers’ passwords upon purchase. From there, ensure that only authorized employees have knowledge of your printers’ passwords, which limits access and usage. Also, be sure to educate employees on how to create the strongest passwords possible.
Monitor your print usage trends and usage
Monitoring tools and print tracking software can help you get a better understanding of the way your office prints. This kind of monitoring may help you spot employees who may be abusing their printing privileges. These tools may also help you spot employees taking part in printing activities that can make your company vulnerable to a data breach.
Don’t let your printers and copiers become vulnerable access points for hackers. Utilize these printer best practices to start protecting your print fleet and your confidential business data. For more information on printer security features to help protect your Bloomington business, contact Definitive Technology Solutions today.