Is Your Office Printer an Open Door for Hackers?

Your office’s printers and multi-function devices (MFDs) have their own operating systems and storage areas. Their technology allows them to be networked and connected to the Internet, which means they are also exposed to potential threats. Printers and MRDs are just as vulnerable to a data breach as company desktops and mobile devices, yet are often overlooked in a business’ security strategy, and are often not protected in the same way as other connected devices. While your business may be on high alert regarding network security, your printers and MFPs may be easy targets for hackers. Something as simple as using default firmware, a lack of print job password protection, or not including every model in the company security audit, can leave your network accessible.

What can happen?

After gaining control of one of your company’s MFDs, a hacker can gain access to your network and view potentially sensitive information, such as prints, scans, user information, and email addresses. They could create worms and malware, capture and reroute every sent document to their device, or push documents to print from your printers and MFDs.

How can you protect yourself?

Whether you have 1,000 printers or two, they all need to be monitored and managed. Here are a few steps to help prevent MFD hacking and to make your devices more secure.

  • Correctly configure firewalls and turn off all unused protocols.
  • Using a default password on your MFD can be found with a simple Internet search, so change default passwords to complex ones and disable SNMP.
  • Implement “follow me” printing software, also known as “pull printing”. This extra layer of security will ensure that a user’s print job is held on the server and only released by the printer when a user is present at a device and uses a code or a print card.
  • Use print servers where possible and remove any direct printing.
  • Request security kits and regular firmware updates from the manufacturer.

It is crucial to manage and secure your company’s entire print process to prevent important documents from winding up in the wrong hands. It is only when you have full visibility of your print and document infrastructure can you protect your company’s various forms of data. If you have questions or concerns about your company’s printing security, contact us and we’ll help you make sure your business’ MFPs are operating at the highest level of security. Protect your business from loss, liability, and a tarnished reputation. Call Superior Document Solutions today!

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