By now, we hope that you’re aware that your network printer can be considered a security risk. At most businesses, IT staff has not taken the proper precautions – or perhaps have not taken enough of the proper precautions – to protect the data that your staff accesses through the printer. Even the simplest and most basic security of security measures, changing a printer’s default password to something unique, is often neglected.

Here are a few other security issues that may be initiated through your printer:

Unauthorized access: This is about as simple as it gets – someone walks to the printer and grabs documents that belong to someone else. More often than not this is because the printed material was left sitting uncollected in the print tray.

Print configuration changes: It’s not very hard for someone to change the printer configuration and to route the print jobs to a location of their choosing.

Cloud printing risks: Anytime that a print job is initiated from the cloud, as opposed to an employee’s desktop or localized server, it is susceptible to attacks or someone trying to gain access to the enterprise network through cloud printing channels.

Print data access: Most of today’s enterprise-level printers include a hard drive that is capable of storing sensitive business data. These hard-drives are rarely removed from the printers when they are put in storage or discarded.

Printer as an attack point: Although it may not seem like it, a network-enabled printer may be used to launch malware attacks, launch a denial-of-service attack on the printer or network, and other malicious activities that you might usually associate other network-based technology like email.