How to keep data safe by securing your printer & Photocopiers from cyberattacks

How printers impact your data security

Organisations go to great lengths to protect their data. From installing sophisticated antivirus software to encrypted hardware, all options to secure their information are on the table. But there is one area which often gets overlooked: printer security. Think about it. Most companies are heavily reliant on printers to print confidential data and internal process information. An unsecured printer can become the weak link in the security network; opening the door to data theft, hacking or unnecessary risk. Luckily, the solution isn’t too complicated. Following a few simple steps can secure your printer network and ensure you aren’t exposed to any external threats.

Understanding how to set-up your printer securely

Most of the times, the problem starts with setting-up an unsecured printer network. As you may know most printers, when you initially set them up, come with a default password. Unfortunately, some organisations continue to use these passwords, which can be easily guessed by a cybercriminal. The first step you should take is to do an audit of your printer network and change all the passwords to something complex (using uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols) which isn’t easily breached. But a password alone, not matter how strong, may not be able to ward off sophisticated and determined cyberattacks.

Ensure all your employees are aware of printer security.

After a PC or laptop, one of the first things most new employees get, is access to the office printer. This clearly illustrates why data security has to be a shared responsibility in any organisation, not just the exclusive domain of the IT team. Try and limit the number of people who have access to printers in the first place. After all, your security is only as strong as the weakest link.

During onboarding of new employees, ensure that they understand how critical it is to follow good practices to secure the printer network. Even existing employees should be asked to attend mandatory training programs to ensure they are updated when it comes to printer security. When you use printers or photocopiers from DDS Group, our technicians educate employees on site how to print securely. Simple measures like avoiding printing using mobile devices which are vulnerable to hacking or not being careless in leaving printouts unattended in printer trays or resisting common phishing attacks go a long way in plugging all gaps in print security.

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