It is all too easy to forget about printers, stuck away in the corner of the office. But just think about some of the sensitive data and documents you send to your printer. The fact is, printers are no longer just a dumb peripheral, they are increasingly sophisticated and networked – which makes them an easy source for a security breach.

But like any networked device, they have the potential to expose your business to hackers, and risk your sensitive data and reputation.

Ultimately, your printer fleet, just like the rest of your IT infrastructure, needs to be monitored, managed and protected. Fail to implement some basic security controls, and you risk facing the financial, legal and reputational implications of a security breach.

Follow these four guidelines to ensure your printer fleet conforms to industry best practice and doesn’t risk being compromised.

1. Invest in reliable printer security

Start by integrating your entire printer fleet into your organization’s security controls and procedures. This should include models of all brands and ages. Then change the default password and restrict access using a network firewall that only lets trusted IPs connect with the print fleet. You should also make printing only available on your local network, and then only to registered users.

2. Monitor use and users

You need to monitor activity and use across all your print fleet, right down to the user and document level. Look to third-party auditing tools to help you achieve this, so you can log and track all users and know exactly what they’re doing on your network. You should also be educating your users on best-practice print security as part of your wider security protocol.

3. Conduct vulnerability assessments

Instead of waiting for your network to become compromised, you should always look to catch intruders before they strike by conducting ongoing vulnerability assessments. These can help you identify weak points in your system before hackers do. If you don’t have the staff resources to manage this yourself, a security assessment service can help identify your most critical vulnerabilities.

4. Patch and update security

As part of your regular patch management schedule, look to update and patch your printers with the latest firmware and security updates. Fail to implement them and you could leave a door open to malicious code, or worse.

Actively managing the security of your printer fleet will help to keep your business protected and compliant, and will ensure it isn’t compromised by a security breach. Contact our security experts to learn more about print security and overall print management.

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