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Despite a focus on network security, many companies still overlook their printer security. After all, what can a hacker do with your printer? Actually, quite a lot. From your printer, they can steal sensitive information, start a DDoS attack, spam your printer with authorized jobs wasting your money and time, and infiltrate other devices on your network. With so much on the line, it’s critical to secure your printer.

Don’t Leave It Open

By default you may have a lot of ports and protocols open, as well as a lot of features turned on. You should turn off everything you don’t need to use. This can include:

  • WiFi printing
  • Printing over HTTP
  • AppleTalk
  • FTP
  • Telnet
  • SNMP
  • IPP on Port 631
  • SMB protocol
  • Unused ports

This can be done with a combination of printer and router settings. By limiting ways to infiltrate your printer, your printer will be more secure.

Also, turn your printer off when its not in use, such as nights and weekends. This not only saves energy, but eliminates the risk of it being hacked.

Use a Firewall

Obviously you still need to leave some ports and features of your printer on in order to use it in the ways that are most beneficial to your business. To provide protection for these open ports and protocols, you need a firewall. Windows has one built-in, so be sure to keep it enabled. If you need more protection, you can purchase a separate firewall.

Keep Your Printer Updated

As security holes are found, firmware upgrades and patches are created to fix them. If the manufacturer has found holes, chances are hackers have already been taking advantage of them.  It’s essential to regularly check for updates and promptly install any patches to help keep your printer and network secure.

Use Strong Passwords

If you didn’t change the default password to your printer, you’ve left the door wide open for hackers to walk in. Change this password to something very strong to help prevent any brute-force attacks. You should also have users login in order to start a print job, as this further limits access.

Printer security is network security. By taking steps to secure your printer, you’re creating a more secure network overall to protect your data and your business. Ask us about our solutions to keep your print environment secure!

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