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Paper Breach: Don’t let thieves in through the printer

Published date: 10/07/2018 09:46

With the huge amount of money organisations have invested in cybersecurity over the past few years, it would be hard to imagine so many organisations having a blatant flaw in their IT. And yet, printer security is still taking a back seat. Keep in mind that anything with an IP address is fair game to cyber criminals. You only need to look at that time when 150,000 printers were commandeered by one hacker to begin to understand the scale of the problem. Consider further that enterprises place a low priority on print security despite over 60% admitting that they have experienced a print-related data breach. 

That’s why we really need to talk about printer security.

Security should always begin with passwords, and in this day and age every office printer should require a login to use. It doesn’t have to be a traditional username and password or a long string of impossible-to-get-right symbols: it could be something as simple (yet very secure) as a four-digit code, mapped to each person in the company through an active directory system. Manufacturers like Lexmark also make it possible to enable multi-factor authentication, to really ramp up security levels.

Printer security doesn’t have to be a chore either, with Lexmark printers featuring a myriad of security features at both network and hardware level. Secure access features are in place so administrators can restrict who has access to printers and what they can do, avoiding issues from within the organisation, whereas hard disk security protects printers with a virtual shield to ensure that documents stay within the organisation. Elsewhere, features like print release, automatic security monitor and Secure Content Monitor help establish and meet company organisations processes and compliances. 

Away from the hardware side of things, Lexmark have also put together five suggestions of things that you can do straight away to improve your printer security:

1. Use digital certificates to enable your device to trust and validate other systems on the network.

2. Set up IP address and port filtering to increase the control you have over network device traffic.

3. Turn on fax/network separation to prevent interaction of the modem and network adapter so that image data can only come direct              from a fax transmission.

4. Implement 802.1x port authentication so that your printers can join wired and wireless networks via authentication.

5. Use encryption so that images and the contents of jobs are kept secret from prying eyes.

Keep in mind that if your customer’s printers don’t support any of the above settings, then that’s yet another reason to talk to them about a new printer. After all, chances are that your customers haven’t considered their printer security, so why not talk to them about a Lexmark solution next time you speak to them? And for any and all of your printer needs, don’t forget that Westcoast is only a call or email away.

Shop Lexmark printers here.


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