Cybercrimes are on the rise and there is not a single electronic device that has been spared by hackers. Printers considered as the safest devices are no exception to cyber-attacks. Printers especially the ones that are part of the WLAN in a small or big organization are sitting ducks for hackers and cyber criminals who might initiate an attack just for fun, to hold the network unless a ransom is paid or even to steal sensitive data. Technology has directly affected human life. It has several benefits for humans especially for small businessmen since they can increase their business by the use of technology. Where we see the many benefits of technology, one aspect of it has a much bad impact on human life and without doubt it is cyber crime. The rate of the cyber crimes has increased.
Through the internet your office printer is plugged directly into a LAN network. Latest printers are amazing because they have features which have been developed in keeping pace with AI and futuristic requirements. It is important to protect your printer from cyber-attacks because through your printer cyber criminals can easily access all information, which can have many negative consequences.
Printer a sitting duck for data theft and data loss
Printers might seem to be the safest device on your network however a lot of data might be lost or stolen via the printer.
A person can just walk up to the printer and read, steal or even photograph the image of a sensitive document that has been printed in case the printer is lying unattended.
Someone from your staff or from the outside might gain physical access to your printer and carry out changes on the settings. Intentionally or unintentionally print jobs might get rerouted, the printer might open up saved copies of documents or someone might reset it to its factory setting which means a loss of saved data.
If your printer has internal storage and you have been saving sensitive data, chances of data theft are quite high. Data can be stolen via the network or even from the printer itself. Someone might recover saved documents even after the printer has been thrown away.
While sending documents over the network hackers and cybercriminals might eavesdrop on your network and steal the data or information sent for printing. The information is caught midway while being transported from the computer to the printer.
In case your printer is attached to the internet the chances of attack increase manifold. Apart from that stealing of information from the printer becomes quite easy for hackers since this is the most ignored area in terms of cyber security. There are a few things which if kept in mind can plug the leak which is left open by a printer. Have your printer password protected and dump any old models that are susceptible to cyber-attacks.
Carefully sent and receive your all emails by printers
It is important if you are protecting your printer from cyber attack. You need to monitor your printing and copier device at all times. For this you can create a VLAN network for your printing device. If you have set up correctly your VLAN network then it will improve your overall performance of a busy network. When you receive any email then before checking or printing the email you need to get it scanned via an antivirus. Never open Emails coming from shady email ids.
Used encryption techniques
If you want to protect your data from cyber attack then it is important to check your data properly. You need to make sure that your data is encrypted. It gives you data security and protects your data transmitted across the network. You need to think of encryption as a secret language that cannot be translated by anyone other than your team or the devices you have employed in your network. When you use a secret language then outside attackers get frustrated and might spare your network and data.
Add your printer your SIEM
It is important to get your printer under SIEM which stands for security information and event management. It is a set of threat detection technologies that work in tandem to provide organizations with a holistic view of their cyber security status. You should connect all your devices such as printers and scanners into your SIEM. It will helpful to access your network, the data flowing through them needs to be monitored, collected and analyzed which will be helpful in identifying and tackling threats to your network.
Properly manage your printer access
While attacking a printer the attacker can easily gain access and attack applications and other systems in the network. That is why; you need to have some information about network security and if you have a vast network with high end machines and a lot of information hiring a network security specialist will be a wise decision. You can follow three processes to manage your organization printer access. They are: confine your printer from the public internet, change the default password, and used encrypted techniques when you are accessing your admin control panel.
Don’t used unverified services for your printer
We all know many printers are running on unnecessary and insecure protocols such as FTP and HTTP. And it is big reasons attackers easily reach your hard drive and access your printer data directly. That is why; restrict your printer from unverified services. Apart from that stay clear of downloading and using applications and software for your printer that come from somewhere else other than your manufacturer.
Groom your staff about cyber threats
There is another important thing you can do if you want to avoid cyber crime coming via a printer. Have your staff educated about cyber security. Conduct regular seminars and workshops regarding cyber security. Make cyber security a habit for each and every person working in your organization. Cyber security is not an individual’s responsibility. It is something which is deep rooted in the organization. Cyber security is everybody’s responsibility and every device needs to be protected.
Through a printer a cyber-attacker can easily comes into your hard drive and easily access all information and the chances increase more if your business prints confidential information. Cyber-attack can be dangerous and fatal for your business.
Author Bio: Sam Klagsbrun has been associated with InkMasters for the past couple of years; he has been providing tips and advice to people looking to buy printers and printer accessories. Apart from that Sam writes about various topics related to technology, computer hardware, and electronics.