Just because ransomware and other digital security threats get all of the media attention, it doesn’t mean that you can safely ignore print security issues. The frequency of cyberattacks against businesses continue to rise, and a study by Xerox found that 61% of companies suffered data losses due to vulnerable printing practices.
Read on to learn about the biggest print security challenges you should be keeping up with and protect your organization from security blindspots.
1. Unauthorized printer access
Peripherals like printers are often overlooked when it comes to cybersecurity because they aren’t as flashy or “smart” as things like servers or mobile devices. But everything is connected in your office, so if a cybercriminal accesses your unsecured printer, they can intercept print jobs or launch further attacks on your network, all while staying under the radar. To prevent unauthorized access to your printers, you or your managed print services (MPS) provider should implement robust authentication tools, such as secure print release, user access controls, and end-to-end encryption.
2. Hardware security
Another print security issue that is often overlooked is the security of the printer itself. Leaving your hardware in an unsecured area increases the risk of damage or theft. The loss of a printer may not seem like much, but the bad news is most modern printers contain a hard drive that stores copies of the documents that you’ve printed or scanned. This means that if someone steals your printer, they could access sensitive information. As such, you must also consider physical security measures such as secure printer placement, access control tools, and a policy for proper disposal of printer components.
3. Data leaks
Confidential data can leak out as a result of a cyberattack or risky online activity, but it can also be lost the old-fashioned way: carelessness. If a communal printer sees heavy use, it is common for users to forget that they printed something or take too long to retrieve what they have printed out. That means that sensitive documents can just sit there in the tray, available to anyone who wants to peek at or even steal it. As unlikely as it may seem, it only takes one bad actor to cause a data breach and put your company’s revenue and reputation in jeopardy.
Secure print release methods, such as PIN or card authentication, ensure that printed documents are only accessed by authorized individuals and remain secure until ready to be collected.
4. Firmware vulnerabilities
Neglecting printer firmware updates leaves you open to vulnerabilities in the system and makes it easier for cybercriminals to launch attacks on your network. To update a printer’s firmware with the latest cybersecurity patches and keep your devices protected, you may need to contact the manufacturer for assistance. Alternatively, an MPS provider will perform printer updates and firmware patches regularly to prevent unauthorized access to your devices.
5. Lack of activity monitoring
If you want to secure important information, you have to know who has access to it and when they access it. Without a system to monitor what document has been printed, when it was printed, and by whom, you can’t know for certain if your data is secure. Anyone could print out reams of sensitive information and cause severe damage before you know it.
Fortunately, MPS providers can implement print management software to help you monitor and log print activities across your network. This valuable tool helps you with identifying potential security breaches and enabling better accountability.
If you aren’t 100% certain that you can mitigate all of these risks in a timely manner, it’s worth considering professional assistance to avoid the devastating effects of a print-related data breach. Complete Document Solutions can help you secure your business from any print security threat out there to give you improved efficiency and peace of mind. Get in touch with us today.