In the past few years, working remotely has become the norm for millions of workers. In addition, although much of our information transfer and communication has moved into digital space, printing is still used by many businesses. One factor you need to consider is securing your printing, both in the office and for your employees working remotely.
The Shift to Working Remotely
As of March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic forced millions of employees into work-from-home, working in other remote locations, and hybrid remote/office workplaces.
Many communication and collaboration technologies provide your employees with the ability to perform their jobs while in remote locations.
While these technologies provide remote connectivity for employees, they can also bring risks and issues to your business.
Technologies and software like Elevate, are virtual digital communication tools that operate across your company’s network as your employees access them remotely.
While the vast majority of your remote employees are likely working fully remotely, some will feel the need to print documents while in their remote working location, either on their personal printer at home or on a printer in whatever remote location they are working.
Those using these printers may not be aware that those printers could be connected to your company’s network, making them unsecured or unmanaged devices.
Risks of Unmanaged Printing
Years ago, printers didn’t have network connectivity, so their ability to compromise your network’s security was non-existent.
And it wasn’t that far in the past that most printers didn’t provide the type of security necessary to protect themselves, and in turn, your network, from being easily infiltrated.
Most printers today have some type of network connectivity, whether through an ethernet cable or wireless connection, which can provide an access point for cyber attacks. However, they also come standard with remote firmware, advanced security, and often a hard drive or solid-state memory that can be wiped clean of existing data, all of which help protect them from attacks and data loss.
But while having newer technology does help mitigate risks, the real issue remains unmanaged devices. No matter how modern a device’s technology, most remote workers do not maintain proper firmware updates like your company’s IT team would. This creates increased weak points for cyber threats to enter your network.
When remote employees connect their own printer to their work computer, they have no way of knowing what is on the printer’s hard drive or memory or whether a virus or malware is lurking within.
This can compromise your company’s network through the remote employee’s connection to that network. It can also create the risk of home printers printing confidential information which is then stored in the memory of an unmanaged device, which could then fall into the wrong hands.
Docutrend Can Help
To minimize the risks of unmanaged devices like home printers, you need expertise in managed printing solutions. Docutrend will assess your current printing environment and advise you on ways to help manage and control remote printing that can help reduce costs and maintain security. Contact Docutrend today to get started.