7 Office printer and copier security tips


May 19, 2021

It’s easy to overlook office equipment like copiers and printers when securing the office and preventing security breaches. Copiers and printers—especially in financial organizations, law offices, etc.—can print extremely sensitive personal information as well as private information.  Since this information is typically stored in the memory of these devices, there are security risks. 

Copiers and printers may be more complicated than many people realize as well, which can mean they are even more vulnerable. For example, researchers Daniel Romero and Mario Rivas recently discovered 45 vulnerabilities in printers from six of the largest brands including HP, Lexmark, and Ricoh. 

Hackers can exploit any weaknesses in your office equipment, so it’s important to make sure your devices are as secure as possible. While many businesses take the necessary steps to secure their networks, devices like printers and copiers are not always considered. 

So what can you do to ensure your office equipment isn’t vulnerable? Here are seven office printer and copier security tips that will help.

  1. Require user authentication
    No one should be using office devices if they are not authorized. This doesn’t have to be a complicated process, however. It can be simple, like a username and password that is used to log in to other devices or a PIN. 

    Make sure your employees do not share their credentials with others, not even other employees. You can also enable automatic logging off so that an employee won’t forget and stay logged in to the device. 
  2. Monitor employee use of devices
    You want to make sure your employees are using copiers and printers appropriately. Not only could inappropriate use put your devices at risk, but it can also create additional unnecessary costs. It’s hard to keep track, though, if you let your employees print or copy anything they want. Establish some ground rules and then it will be easier to enforce them. 
  3. Be cautious about wireless use
    This is important to remember when it comes to office printer security tips. While wireless use can be a great tool for convenience and productivity, make sure your wireless network is secured. Also, you may not want to allow employees to print from their mobile devices, which you may not be able to ensure are secure.
  4. Use end-to-end encryption
    When end-to-end encryption is utilized, documents are not able to be accessed if they are intercepted when traveling from one device to another. If an unauthorized user happens to receive the data, it will be extremely difficult or even impossible for them to decrypt it. Fortunately, most office printers and copiers have an encryption feature built in.
  5. Protect documents that have already been printed
    It’s all too common for an employee to print something, get distracted, and leave their documents in the printer for a long time. When this happens, your documents can be accessed by anyone who is able to enter the copy room. This can be particularly risky if you are sharing devices with other businesses in your office building. Make sure your employees know to pick up their printed documents right away.

    Want to secure your office devices? Have a look at our printer security checklist.
  6. Secure the hard drive
    Devices such as copiers, printers, scanners, and fax machines have hard drives that store documents that are being printed, copied, etc. Make sure your hard drives are protected against access—either external physical access or digital access. In the event that you need to remove a device from your office for any reason, you will want to wipe the hard drive clean beforehand.
  7. Consider the location
    Sometimes security can be as simple as securing the physical location of your office. Make sure unauthorized users are not gaining access to the devices in your office. Make sure devices are in an area that only employees are allowed to enter. You may also want to remove any physical ports from the devices. 

When thinking about office copier security tips, there are a lot of things to consider. One way to ensure that your copiers, printers, and other devices will be secure is to utilize managed print services

It can be a lot to keep track of—making sure all of your devices are secure, constantly monitoring use, etc. Not only do managed print services enforce better security, but they can greatly reduce costs, optimize workflow, and ensure equipment is being used in the most efficient and eco-friendly way. 

In addition to offering managed print services, at Milner, we also provide IT security services so that you can leave your security concerns up to us and focus on doing what you do best: running your business. If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to us today.

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