Networked printers and copiers are a staple of modern offices. Aside from just printing pages, many of these devices have a built-in capacity to communicate wirelessly with computers and mobile devices, opening up a realm of possible cyber security threats.
In 2018, Cyberattacks cost small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) an average of $2.2 million. Fortunately, there are several ways to effectively protect your data as well as that of your customers and vendors.
One of those ways is by partnering with a professional managed print provider. While their main objective is to keep your equipment up and running at peak performance, a managed print service provider also has their eye on your network infrastructure and keeping it secure.
Threat Detection and Prevention
The truth is, hackers trying to access a company's network often see items such as multifunctional copiers and network printers as weak links. Everyone knows to set up firewalls and other protections for the company's servers, but office equipment is all too often an afterthought. Sophisticated systems have been developed that can raise the printer's level of protection, such as malware detection software that disables the equipment if a threat is detected.
Enhanced Password Security
Like many types of networked equipment, printers often come with default administrator passwords. If this is not changed not only at installation, but also on a regular basis, it offers easy access to your network. A managed print vendor can help you stay on top of password management, providing guidance and reminders to change the password regularly, keeping it strong, and controlling unauthorized access.
One of the main benefits of a managed print agreement is the 24/7 monitoring of your print data. In addition to keeping an eye on simply your volumes, print monitoring software can keep tabs on the who and where printing requests are coming from. It can also detect suspicious breaches via malware or other methods.
One major issue in data protection today is that threats evolve faster than most internal IT departments can keep up. Firewalls and other protections often guard against known techniques that were used in the past. However, hackers may be more likely to use a new approach. For this reason, it is important to keep security software and protocols updated on a continual basis. New patches and updates should be installed as soon as they are vetted and released.
Even the most sophisticated, up-to-date software can fail if its users make mistakes. The unfortunate truth is that human error is a top factor in many of today’s data breaches. Some major issues can stem from taking shortcuts with security protocols, which users may find cumbersome or time consuming. Two ways to address this problem include:
- Making security protocols secure, yet streamlined enough for your employees to comply with
- Supporting any security protocols with sufficient end-user training for the best chance of adoption
Know What You’re Getting Into With Remote Access
A key issue to address with users is security for the printers’ connection to mobile devices via mobile apps. Users who access the printers remotely should protect login credentials as they would an ATM pin code; one of the easiest and low-tech hacking methods is simply watching someone enter a username and password.
Working With Your Printing Solutions Company
Benchmark works with companies of all sizes to provide scalable, secure printing solutions with customized managed print partnerships. To learn more about ways you can protect your company data with advanced security for your printing devices, contact us for a conversation with one of our expert Printerpreters.