Ways to protect your printer from data breaches & cyber-attacks

Did you know? Your company’s printers, copiers, and multifunction printers (MFPs) could be just the gap a hacker needs to access your systems? In fact, printers and MFPs are just as vulnerable to threats as any other connected device. But they are among the most overlooked when it comes to security, says Anton Badenhorst, the COO of managed business services firm Itec.

According to the 2022 SHA Risk Review, one in three South African SME respondents had suffered a cyber-attack. More than half (53%) of SMEs who suffered ransomware attacks did not recover their data.

Last year, cybersecurity experts at Cybernews hijacked around 28,000 unsecured printers and forced them to print out a guide to printer security. In total, they found around 500,000 devices that they could target.

Badenhorst provides five tips to help businesses protect their printers from data breaches and cyber-attacks.

Use strong passwords

Use strong passwords for your Wi-Fi network and the printer’s administrative interface. Change the default password on your printer by using a password generator.

Update firmware and use antivirus software

Update your printer’s firmware and antivirus software regularly. Manufacturers release updates to address security vulnerabilities and improve overall performance. Make sure you implement them regularly.

Implement access control through individual passwords and pins

Enable secure printing features, such as a PIN or password-protected printing, to ensure documents are only printed when the authorised user is at the printer.

Conduct regular security audits

Security audits help you identify vulnerabilities and address them promptly and with Itec Secures printer & MFP security solutions, peace of mind is guaranteed.  

Educate your team

Educate your employees about printer security best practices: avoid printing sensitive documents unless necessary, and pick up printed materials promptly, for example.

“By following these simple, but incredibly important, security practices, you can significantly reduce the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks on your printer and protect sensitive information within your organisation,” says Badenhorst.