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Are You Overlooking the Security of Your Printers?

Printers today are vastly different from printers of the past. As technology advances, so too do our office printers and imaging technology. The latest devices have a host of innovative capabilities, from built-in web browsers to a variety of applications designed to free up workflows and increase productivity. Now, particularly with their ability to be accessed wirelessly through your office network, printers are more vulnerable than ever.

All of the business documents you send to your printers—everything from client invoices to your employees’ Human Resources files—are at risk if you fail to secure your company’s printer fleet. According to Tech Target’s Search IT Channel research, 70 percent of companies have had security breaches linked to printing. Most printers and multifunction printers (MFPs) capture and save images of a significant amount of confidential business data every day. These devices typically have access to the cloud, the Internet, solutions applications, and even your network email accounts, making them potential security targets for hackers if left unsecured.

So, how can you ensure that your company and customer data is less vulnerable to attack? Consider implementing the following tips to secure your printer fleet.

Change Your Printers’ Default Passwords. Perhaps the easiest, most effective way to secure your networked printers is to change their default passwords. Network printers can be accessed remotely with a simple password, and hackers are acutely aware of the default passwords typically assigned to popular office equipment. Changing the default to a strong, new password will make accessing your devices more difficult, combating unauthorized individuals from acquiring sensitive data.

Evaluate and Adjust Your Network Security Measures. Make sure your devices are connected to a dedicated, private Internet server, rather than a public Internet connection. Moreover, ensure your private network is protected with a firewall or router so in-house users alone can access it. Set up a meeting with your IT team to discuss the latest in network security and your current protective measures to determine if an upgrade is necessary.

Update All Devices. When printer manufacturers are made aware of loopholes or issues with their devices, they provide firmware to fix the problem. Much like a patch to fix a bug, firmware updates can improve the usability and performance of your devices, but they can be critical to making sure your printers are secure as well.

Consider Cutting the Cord. Wherever possible, use a USB cord—rather than a wireless connection—to connect to your computer to a dedicated printer. Doing so is a surefire way to increase your device’s security. By removing your printer’s access to the Internet, you eliminate the threat of getting hacked.

Switch to MPS. Managed Print Services (MPS) shifts not only the management and maintenance of your printers to a trusted partner, but their security as well. With MPS, the security burden of your printer fleet is on your partner, who will ensure all of your devices are protected at all times. MPS offers the added benefits of cost and time savings, since your staff will no longer have to worry about securing and maintaining your printing equipment and corresponding consumables.

Indianapolis businesses should contact Braden Business Systems today to learn more about safeguarding your business data by securing your printing and imaging devices.

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