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All too often, printers aren’t included in a company’s security strategy. This is because few people suspect that an office printer could pose any threat to the organization. However, in reality, the typical unsecured networked office printer contains vulnerabilities that hackers could gain access to in one simple swipe.

Considering that many organizations have overlooked their printer security, the printer has become a popular target for cyberattacks. In fact, according to recent research, 60 percent of companies surveyed experienced a data breach related to a printer. Not only did these data breaches come with a hefty cost, but they also took an average of 46 days to resolve.

Here are five ways that an unsecure printer can wreak havoc on your business:

  1. Network exposure – Printers can create an entry point to a network, even if they are behind a firewall. When printers are not secured, it can be very easy for a hacker to gain access to your network and take your business down.
  1. Cyberattacks – If hackers gain access to your unsecured printer, they possess the power for destruction. A common cyberattack involving printers is denial of service (DoS).
  1. Data breaches – If you’re not taking the precautions to encrypt the data that passes between your network and your printer, you’re creating significant exposure for your company as this data can be easily retrieved by hackers using a standard PRN reader.
  1. Prying eyes – It’s not uncommon for documents to be left on the printer tray. However, if these documents contain confidential data, leaving them on the printer for all eyes to see could result in leaked information.
  1. Vulnerabilities from mobile devices – Employees want the ability to print from their mobile devices. However, the more mobile devices that are introduced to a network printer, the more challenging it is to provide authentication and secure data transmission. Be sure to implement a mobile solution that addresses this issue.

Watch our printer security video: 

Here are several steps that you can take to secure your printer:

  • Use encrypted communication protocols for all computing devices.
  • Erase or destroy a printer’s hard drive data when moving a printer out of circulation.
  • Require at least one form of user authentication for your printers.
  • Implement pull printing in offices that print a high volume of sensitive data.
  • Ensure that printer firmware is current.

Interested in learning more about security in your print environment? Contact us for more suggestions and solutions to strengthen the printer security in your office.

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