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Printing Security: Is your Business Secure From this Cybersecurity Risk?

We’ve all read the alarming headlines about businesses that have suffered devastating cybersecurity breaches. Shockingly, 80% of U.S. companies report that they have experienced successful hacking attempts aimed at stealing, altering, or exposing important data. It’s a common misconception that only large corporations are vulnerable to these attacks, but the truth is that small businesses are also at risk. 


Recent studies have revealed that firms with less than 1000 employees are actually more susceptible to successful hacks than larger corporations. The findings show that small businesses are less likely to conduct a “friendly hack” on their own systems, employ more data security personnel, or mandate data security training for employees. Specifically, the study reveals that small firms are about half as likely as large ones to take these measures.


As your business continues to rely more and more on digital technology, the importance of your cybersecurity cannot be overstated. Cybersecurity refers to the protection of computer systems and data from theft, damage, or unauthorized access. With the rise of technology and the internet, cybersecurity has become a crucial aspect of business operations. Cyberattacks can have devastating consequences, including financial losses, data breaches, and damage to a company’s reputation. Therefore, it is essential for businesses to invest in cybersecurity measures to protect themselves and their customers.


Is your Business Secure from this Cybersecurity Risk?

When it comes to cybersecurity, printing security may not be the first thing that comes to your mind. Nevertheless, printers are often overlooked as potential security threats. An unsecured printer can provide hackers with access to sensitive information just like a computer or a network. In this post, we’ll talk about the relationship between cybersecurity and printing, the dangers of unsecured printing devices, and how you can secure your business from cyberattacks.


The Relationship between Cybersecurity and Printing


Printing can pose a significant cybersecurity threat?! Is nothing safe?! Unsecured printing devices can provide an entry point for hackers to gain access to sensitive information. If your unsecured printers are connected to a network they can be used to launch attacks on other devices connected to the network. This can include stealing data, installing malware, or taking control of devices. This is serious stuff to be left vulnerable. Many businesses have not yet recognized the potential risks that unsecured printing devices pose to their cybersecurity. As a result, they may not have implemented the security measures to protect against these threats. This lack of attention to printing security could leave businesses vulnerable to cyberattacks. But not yours because we’re going to give you the rundown on how to protect your business!


How Printers can Pose a Threat to Cybersecurity


Printers can pose a significant threat to cybersecurity in several ways. For example, an unsecured printer could be used to intercept print jobs and steal sensitive information, such as financial records or personal data. Printers can also be used to launch attacks on other devices connected to the network, including servers and databases. In some cases, hackers can take control of the printer and use it to send spam emails or distribute malware. Malware is short for “malicious software” and is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system.


In addition, unsecured printing devices can be a source of data breaches. Print jobs can be easily intercepted and the data contained in them can be used for malicious purposes. Hackers can use this data to steal identities, commit fraud, or gain access to other systems.


The Impact of Printing Security Breaches on Businesses


A printing security breach can have significant consequences for businesses. A data breach can result in financial losses and legal penalties, cause problems for customers, and damage to a company’s reputation. In some cases, businesses are required to notify customers of the breach, which can erode trust and confidence in the company. Businesses that fail to secure their printing devices may be liable for resulting damages.


With some preventative measures, it isn’t hopeless! Businesses like yours can implement secure printing practices. That is having a set of guidelines to make sure that the printing devices and networks are secure, having a plan in place to teach employees why and what to do consistently, and not ignoring necessary software and firmware updates. Many times when you see an update available, this is due to patches and solutions being implemented to prevent breaches.


Best Practices for Printing Security in Business


Implementing Secure Printing Solutions

Secure printing solutions, such as secure print release and pull printing, can help prevent unauthorized access to print jobs.  When you use secure printing, print jobs are not released until the user authenticates themselves at the printer. This ensures that sensitive documents are not left unattended in the printer tray and that only authorized users can access them.


Securing Printing Devices and Networks

Print devices and networks should be secured just like any other device or network in a business. This includes setting strong passwords and changing them regularly, using firewalls to block unauthorized access, and implementing encryption to protect data in transit. Printers should also be updated with the latest firmware and software updates to ensure that any known vulnerabilities are patched.


Training Employees on Secure Printing Practices

Employees should be trained on secure printing practices to ensure that they understand the potential risks of unsecured printing devices and know how to use secure printing solutions. This includes educating them on the importance of password security, ensuring that they log out of the printer after use, and not leaving sensitive documents unattended in the printer tray.


Regularly Updating Software and Firmware

Software and firmware updates are essential for keeping printers secure. It is important to ensure that printers are updated regularly because they often include security patches for you to address vulnerabilities. You can do this manually or through automated updates, depending on the printer’s capabilities.


How to Ensure Your Business is Secure


Monitoring Network and Device Usage

Businesses should monitor network and device usage to detect any unusual activity or potential security breaches. This includes monitoring print jobs to ensure that they are not being intercepted, monitoring network traffic to detect any suspicious activity, and implementing intrusion detection systems to alert administrators of potential threats.


Implementing Access Control Measures

Role-based access control and user authentication can help ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive data and devices. This includes implementing secure print release solutions that require users to authenticate themselves at the printer before printing. Authenticating usually just involves typing in a special code assigned to each employee.


Staying Informed of the Latest Threats and Vulnerabilities

Businesses should stay informed of the latest cybersecurity vulnerabilities to ensure that they are taking the steps to protect themselves. This includes subscribing to security newsletters, attending security conferences, and regularly reviewing security best practices.


You now know printing security is an essential aspect of cybersecurity that should not be overlooked. If you allow a printer to go unsecured it can provide an entry point for hackers to gain access. Implementing best practices for printing security can help prevent security breaches and protect businesses from potential threats. By prioritizing cybersecurity your business and customers can be protected.

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