Ensuring your company’s printer security is an essential step in protecting sensitive data. The healthcare industry is particularly vulnerable to data breaches and on average one healthcare data breach will cost a company $10.1 million. The cost of data breaches is continually climbing with a 41.6% cost increase between 2020 and 2022. Small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) are especially vulnerable to data breaches with 61% of SMBs being targets of a cyberattack in 2021.
Ensuring printer security is a simple, low-cost way to protect your company’s short- and long-term data privacy, protect your business’s reputation as a secure organization, and avoid costly HIPPA violations. This article will walk you through the biggest threats to printer security and provide simple solutions that could save your company millions.
What is printer security?
Printer security is often overlooked despite printers storing mass-amounts of sensitive data. Printer security means protecting your printer from data breaches. The two biggest types of printer data breaches are:
Company printers often automatically store a memory of the files they receive in the printer’s non-volatile memory. While this feature is built into most corporate printers for efficiency, it can cause sensitive data to be vulnerable to hackers.
Simply forgetting to pick up a printed document or properly dispose of paper with sensitive information on it leaves data vulnerable. Even if a document is seen by a fellow employee, a privacy breach can occur with data that is HIPPA protected.
What steps can you take to ensure printer security?
These four easy-to-implement steps will help your company maintain printer security:
Keep Your Printer Up to Date
- Perform regular maintenance checks on your printer to ensure that its firmware and software are up to date.
Implement Secure Company Policies and Practices
- Close open ports: Open ports leave the printer vulnerable to unsecured USBs or physical data extraction.
- Do not leave papers in the printer. After each printing, make sure papers are collected and/or properly disposed of.
- Wipe your printer before disposing of it. In order to make sure that all stored data is unrecoverable, use a drive wiping program or remove the printer’s hard drive.
- Password protect your printer’s admin settings. An unprotected printer admin allows hackers connected to the printer’s wireless network to access stored documents.
Check your Network Security
- Connect your printer to a VPN: A VPN will ensure a more secure network connection. A security provider can support your printer’s transition to a VPN.
- Set up an encrypted connection: If your printer supports it, set up encrypted connections on your print server as a default setting so that your printer only accepts secure print documents.
- If the above steps are not compatible with your printer, try limiting Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the printer and allow only the necessary network connections that your business needs.
Invest in a Trained Security Staff
- Companies who are insufficiently staffed in security face an average of 550,000 more in breach costs than those which are sufficiently staffed.
If you’re concerned about your company’s printer security, contact Nuvodia’s Managed IT Security Services team for a quote. Our team is happy to help ensure your data stays as secure as it should be.