When you consider cybersecurity, your office laser printer is probably the last thing that comes to mind. While many IT administrators don't always see them as networked computers, attackers have become increasingly adept at finding vulnerabilities and using them to steal valuable information completely undetected. Learn more about printer hacking and how to protect your business in the guide below.
How Are Printers at Risk?
While a laser printer might seem like a harmless device, most office printing systems are incredibly powerful. It serves as a multi-functional fax machine and copier, as well as a web, email, and FTP server with a direct link into the most sensitive components of your office network. Because many don't consider their office printer a risk, they're less likely to secure their systems, making it easier for attackers to change the printer's network address.
Once inside, an attacker could reroute confidential print jobs, perform DOS attacks and render the device inoperable, use the printer as a platform to attack other systems on the network, or install malware that allows remote, back-door access to past print jobs stored within the system's memory.
How to Protect Your Printer
It's common for businesses to rely on their printer's default settings, including the username and password. Unfortunately, many hackers are aware of this and use this vulnerability to easily gain access to your system. To avoid this, update your account information in your printer's utility settings.
Fix known vulnerabilities in your system by maintaining the latest firmware for your printer. Prevent unwanted access to your network by turning off unused or unnecessary protocols that allow remote access. Then, set up a firewall that guards against hacks from outside your specified network.
Remember that most printers store images of the documents they print, which can easily provide sensitive and confidential information to attackers. Configure your printer to purge its memory after a specific period, or disable the storage functionality altogether. You might also consider setting up encryption using firewall settings to safeguard your printer storage.
For secure laser printers, multi-function printers, and more, contact the professionals at Laser Line in Jessup, MD. Since 1989 their team has supplied a variety of businesses with high-end printing and copying equipment with a focus on network security, system maintenance, print management programs, and operational efficiency. Contact them today at (410) 636-1700 to learn more about their inventory, or visit their website for additional information about their products and services.