Multi-function office printers are an essential piece of equipment for many businesses. Not only do they provide a much more efficient way of managing administrative tasks in the workplace, but they also help to improve productivity levels within various departments.
However, networked equipment like office printers can present dangerous cybersecurity risks if proper precautions aren't taken. Here are four common vulnerabilities you should fix on your office printer today.
Unrestricted Remote Access
Most businesses invest in a multi-function printer for the convenience they provide, especially when connected to a network. Whether employees connect to business services locally or are part of a remote workforce, multi-function printers allow users to access features of their MFP no matter where they connect from.
But if remote access capabilities are left unrestricted, it can leave a business open to cyber threats from outside the organization.
Using a network firewall can help to block anonymous and otherwise dangerous third parties from accessing your connected equipment. Configuring your router to only accept trusted device connections and restricting IP addresses outside your geographic location are other great ways to stay protected when users connect to your printer remotely.
Poor Administrative Security
Just like computers and smart devices, multi-function office printers have security precautions built-in to their administrative panels. Unfortunately, many companies decline to password protect their printers due to the inconvenience it causes to users and administrators. This can cause several security issues and potentially compromise other connected devices as well.
One of the easiest ways to secure your office printer is by changing the default password to the administrative control panel. This can usually be done both through the printer itself or also through a web browser connected to your network. It can also be wise to invest in third-party security services and applications to ensure your networked printer maintains high-quality document and data security.
Unencrypted Data Transmissions
It’s important to remember that any time you send an email, fax, or remote print job through your connected office printer, data transmissions are being sent and received by the equipment. If these transmissions are intercepted by malicious sources, confidential data and sensitive documentation can be stolen or compromised.
Installing software solutions to encrypt network transmissions in your office keeps your data secure in the event of a security breach. Print jobs can use IPPS (Internet Printing Protocol over SSL) which secures endpoint-to-endpoint security. In the event that data security is compromised, encrypted files will be useless to hackers and keep the company’s information private.
Unsecured Document Storage
All multi-function printers have certain levels of internal storage capacity. Whether using print or fax functionality, temporary files of jobs you complete can be saved to your equipment’s internal memory for later use. If these default settings aren’t changed, anyone who has access to your equipment can access confidential documents stored.
It’s vital that before you sell or discard old office printers that all internal storage is wiped from the internal storage. Most printers give the ability to format internal storage through the administrative panel. If they don’t however, it’s important to remove any internal storage media before getting rid of the equipment. This will ensure no one outside your organization can access your data.
Networked office printers present security risks if precautions aren’t taken to stay protected. By following this guide to fix common vulnerabilities in your equipment, you can ensure your data stays safe and equipment operational for years to come.