Today, we’re all more aware of the importance of data security and taking the steps needed to secure our businesses. One area that is often still overlooked is your office printer. A printer is a common gateway a hacker will use to gain access to your home or company network.
Once a cybercriminal gains access to your printer, they can do all sorts of nefarious things, including:
- Accessing sensitive documents or data stored in your printer
- Printing unauthorized documents
- Launching Distributed Denial of Service attacks
… to name a just few.
Fortunately, you can secure your printer against potential attacks using these five simple tips.
- Limit or Disable Network Printing – Review and disable anything that involves printing over the Internet. Configure network settings to only answer commands that come through your network router. Want even more protection? Keep your printer turned off when not in use. If there is no connection, a hacker can’t get in!
- Secure Printing Ports – Unsecured ports are the easiest way for a hacker to get in. This means you need to only enable the printing protocols you use. For example, for secure printing, the standard protocol is IPPS protocol via SSL port 443 so leave that open. Disable all unnecessary network ports to keep your network secure.
- Use a Firewall – It goes without saying, but you need a secure and reliable firewall in place. Windows users already have a pre-installed firewall, make sure it is enabled at all times. It will protect unused protocols hackers can use to access your printer from outside your network.
- Update Printer Firmware – Manufacturers are always working to fix vulnerabilities in the firmware of their devices. Make sure you keep your printer firmware up to date! If you work from home, this is even more important as most business-class devices have additional security features your home office printer may not have.
- Change Printer Default Passwords – Most printers utilize WiFi, meaning they can be remotely accessed with a password. Many printers have a default administrator username and password that hackers can look up to gain access. Consider changing it to a long, strong, and unique passphrase making it a nightmare for hackers.
Simple steps like these can help keep your business network safe and secure. Unsure how to proceed? Give us a call, we’re always happy to answer all your questions!