4 Tips for Better Print Security

woman using multi-function printer in office

Oct 15, 2020

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which is defined by the National Cybersecurity Alliance as “a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.” When thinking about cybersecurity, it’s easy to overlook the printer. After all, it is usually tucked away in the corner of the office.

It’s important to consider the security of any device that is connected to the network, however. Any device that can connect to the internet can put your sensitive information at risk. You ultimately need to secure your printer along with the rest of your IT infrastructure. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make sure your printer security is solid. Here are four tips to help you amp up your print security:

1. Place Printers Behind a Firewall

Putting any device behind a firewall is a good way to secure it. This is because a firewall’s main purpose is to filter incoming and outgoing traffic. Additionally, it blocks any traffic from the internet that hasn’t been specifically requested. It’s also important to keep the firewalls updated on your devices. 

Many organizations may put other devices behind firewalls but forget about their printers. It’s important to remember that printers can be hacked just as easily as computers, mobile devices, or tablets. A cyberattack on any device can cause the same amount of damage so it’s critical to ensure that your printers are secure. 

2. Monitor Users

More than 90 percent of data breaches are caused by human error. The biggest threat to the security of your data is your employees. Your employees are not typically trying to cause a data breach. However, they could print a confidential document and then leave the digital file on the printer. 

It might be a good idea to give certain employees or departments access to a private printer. This is a good way to ensure that confidential files remain confidential. However, even with a private printer, the documents can be stored in the printer’s memory and can still be accessed. 

It may be worth it to spend some time on training to ensure that your employees are printing in a secure way. It can be extremely valuable to make sure that your employees have been given the necessary knowledge and have a better understanding of how to protect the company from cyberattacks. 

3. Make Sure You are Using Effective Software Tools

Using the right software tools is essential. It may be more cost-effective to use software as opposed to having certain employees or departments use private printers. With secure printing software, employees are able to share printers with other employees and also maintain security. 

With the right software tools, users will need to enter a PIN or access code to print documents. This means that whoever ordered the print will have to be there to enter the code. This prevents documents from being left where anyone can access them.

4. Check Your Security

You are probably checking the security on other documents frequently. It is just as important to check the security of your printer. Make sure that your security software is regularly being updated. Outdated software can easily lead to a cyberattack. It’s also critical to regularly test the security of your printer. 

The best way to guarantee print security is to utilize managed print services. With this, you'll have a team of experts to help manage all aspects of your organization's printing devices. It also keeps all of your printing devices running smoothly, and you'll have one less thing to worry about. These services also reduce costs, optimize workflow, and reduce the carbon footprint. Learn more about the managed print services offered here at Milner.