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Printer security-related incidents have become quite common in recent times. Without properly tackling printer security-related cyber threats, you’ll be prone to them too.
So, we’ve mentioned some steps you can follow to prevent such security breaches.
Step 1: Make Sure The Network Is Secured
Most networked printers are accessible through passwords. Make sure to set a strong printer password. Refrain from using something easily guessable as a password. For example, your name and numbers like: “Jack123”.
Next, make sure that the network is secure. The network must be configured so the printer is only accessible through your router.
To do that, first, press the wifi button on the printer. Turn off the printer’s wireless printing from the control panel. From the Windows registry settings, disable printing over HTTP. Lastly, turn off the printer when you aren’t using it.
Step 2: Install Malware, Firmware Updates, And Use A Firewall
Make sure that the printer firmware and malware protection software is up to date. Or else, it’ll fall prey to new cyberattacks. Many printers have built-in malware protection software. For example, “SureStart” in HP devices.
Here, you can set a reminder on your calendar app to remind you about updates.
If your printer holds highly sensitive information, you can also take additional protection. Here, you can contact MPS (Managed Print Service) providers.
Step 3: Secure Printing Ports
NEXT, Disable all the ports in your printer that you won’t use. The standard port for printing is SSL port 443 (IPPS protocol). It’s the one you’ll probably use.
All other protocols like Telnet, AppleTalk, FTP, and SNMP should be disabled. They can expose your network to potential hackers. Also, disable the following ports:
- Ports 515, 721-731, and 9100.
- IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) on port 631.
- SMB (Server Message Block)
The manual of your router should have instructions on how to disable these ports.
Step 4: Create Awareness in The Team
Everyone in your business will have access to the printer. Thus, it’s necessary for everyone to follow these guidelines:
- Every staff member should know what a phishing scam is and how to avoid it.
- Be cautious about printing through mobile devices. Also, don’t leave the printed copies in the printer tray for anyone to pick up.
- Make sure that the company policies about confidential information are known to all employees.
Step 5: Restrict Printer Access
Access to your printer network should only be given to authorized employees. Also, the print jobs should be encrypted between and after transit (between computer and printer).
Encrypting while transit makes sure that hackers can’t intercept your data. Also, encrypt the data after it’s stored in the hard drive or internal drive of the printer. Most printers have encryption tools for this purpose. Use these tools to setup the following:
- Encrypt printer storage with a secure password.
- Fix the lifespan of the documents in your printer.
- Automatic deletion of encrypted files upon unauthorized entry.
- Automatic deletion of secure documents after being printed.
- Access removal of ex-employees.
Also, at the end of your printer’s lifespan, be sure to delete all data in it.
Step 6: Enable the ‘Swipe To Release’ Solution
The ‘Swipe to Release’ option on your printer software enables members to print an encrypted queue. Here, you can print as many as you want at once. You’ll have to use an ID or manual code to print the documents. Thus, it makes confidential information even more secure.
Also, Malfunctioning printers are prone to more cyber threats. Thus, fix your printer fast with easy to follow troubleshooting guide or replace it.
Hope you got to know all the steps to secure your printer network from top 10 cyber security threats. Still, we’d like you to know one last thing. If your printing relies on smart card authentication, always check the latest guidelines. Thanks for staying with us till the end!