Chances are that somewhere in your business environment, there are printers that can connect to the web and probably even have their own embedded web servers. These printers also probably include the ability to manage them remotely. If they are not properly secured, unauthorized personnel could seize control of the printer from their remote location.

There are numerous steps you can take to help eliminate the security risks that are posed by your printers.

• Keep a printers’ software up to date. Just like your computer, or any other network-enabled device, a printer has vulnerabilities, therefor there are often patches issued by their vendors or manufacturers. Search out and apply those patches.

• If possible, set up reporting features that record the user name, date and time for each print job to track this information for security purposes, as well as billing/accounting.

• If the printer is wireless, ensure that the wi-fi network is protected.

• Set all relevant permissions on your network printers to control the staff that may manage print jobs. Allowing everyone is never secure.

• If the printer has the ability, overwrite the data immediately after printing (or scanning, if it’s an all-in-one device).

• Enterprise printers allow the use of passwords, smart cards or other types of biometrics, in order to complete a print job. This also means that the user physically visits the printer when providing the authentication information and reduces the risk of an unattended document sitting in the output tray.

• If a printer includes a “reprint” function, turn in off in order to prevent others from reprinting a job after the user has picked up the printed document.

• If a printer allows you to bypass its internal hard drive and print directly from RAM, use this setting for enhanced security, because print jobs are not stored on the hard drive.

• If it does not, and you do store print jobs on the hard drive, ensure that the drive is encrypted.

For information on how Capital Business Systems can help you implement a secure printing environment to suit your business and your budget, please contact us.