Is your data secure? Many companies make efforts to secure severs and networks, but overlook one of the biggest data vulnerabilities: the office printer. Whether it’s stored digitally on the printer’s hard drive or sitting on the output tray, your printer may be leaving your data – and your business – vulnerable. Here’s how to protect your data.
Secure the Printer
Securing the physical printer itself can go a long way towards security. Move your printer to a controlled area. Disable unused ports, and lock up any secure paper (such as used for checks). You should also enable authorization controls on your printer, requiring users to log-in with a PIN, password, or other means to maintain control of who can use your printers.
Secure the Data
Data is transmitted to the printer, and then stored on the hard drive. Protecting your data in both of these places is essential. First, enable encryption to encode your data during transit and storage. Then make sure you’re regularly clearing the printer’s hard drive to eliminate stored documents and associated data. This can be set up to be done daily or even more frequently. If you’re retiring your printer, be sure the hard drive is cleared of all data, and preferably destroyed.
Control Your Output Tray
Data breaches are not always digital. Documents sitting on the printer output tray are ripe for the taking. Enable pull-printing, which requires the user to be physically at the printer before the printing begins. This eliminates the problem of documents sitting unclaimed.
Monitor Your Print Usage
If you’re not monitoring who is using your printers, and what they are using them for, you may be missing critical warning signs that could leave you vulnerable. By conducting regular print audits and tracking usage, you can make sure that everyone is following company protocols to keep your data secure – and you may save money as well.
Your data is one of your most valuable assets, and it is only as secure as the weakest link in your network. For many companies, that weak link is the printer. By putting these print security practices in place, you can help protect your business against a data breach. Contact us to learn more.