Cybersecurity: Keeping Office Copiers and Printers Secure

Many of us view cybersecurity as challenging to implement, and frankly, an inconvenience. This mentality tends to lead to ignoring cybersecurity measures altogether. Even though securing our in-house and remote systems is a necessary precaution, it oftentimes is avoided.

Consider the amount of devices with internet capabilities that you currently use. Did you include your printer, copier, or multifunction printer (MFP) in this count? What some don’t realize is that these internet-capable devices have the potential for hackers to compromise your network. 

One of the most damaging outlooks to have is to believe that your business is too small to become a target of a cyber-attack. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many individuals to work from home, cyber-crimes and threats have increased the rate at which compromises occur. 

The important question EVERYONE should be asking is: how do I keep our office copiers and printers secure? 

Securing Internet-Connected Devices

From hospitals, to legal firms, to government entities, to banking institutions, confidential, sensitive and even classified data is printed by various organizations via commercial printers.

As an experiment, a cybersecurity expert group went on a campaign to find unsecured printers. In the search, they discovered approximately 800,000 devices that could potentially be exploited with network printing features enabled and internet accessibility. Out of these identified devices, 500,000 were estimated to be vulnerable for cyberattacks. 

Obviously, having an exposed device like this, isn’t good for business! This could easily lead to a compromise of other paired systems that your printers have connectivity to. However, there are plenty of measures that can be taken to ensure your office printers and copiers remain secure. Read on for our top security tips. 

  • Turn Off Services You Are Not Using

Devices such as printers and multifunction copiers offer a collection of protocols that permit print options through wired and wireless connections. Yet, you do not need them all and likely only use a few. A simple solution, that increases your device and network security, is to configure your device to only offer the protocols you are actually          using. 

  • Change The Admin Interface Default Password 

Most devices these days have a web interface, which makes managing the machine easier. The majority of these printers and copiers come with a default password that is intended to be used when setting up the device. However, many people don’t change this default password. Unfortunately, these passwords are widely published and easily accessible. Not creating your own unique password sets you up as an easy target for security breaches. Always be sure to change the default password for added protection to your device.

  • Ensure Your Printer Software Is Updated 

Like computers, copiers and printers require updates for optimizing features, bug fixes, and security. Not keeping software up-to-date, exposes the system and leaves it vulnerable. Speaking of software, make sure you know exactly what you’re installing. Hackers have been known to send messages to corporate systems that include malicious software. If there is ever doubt, be sure to confirm what you’re downloading or installing is legitimate.

  • Utilize A Firewall

Firewalls are used to protect a network and keep unwanted entities out. Ensuring you are set-up with a firewall will help to keep both your personal and business devices from being exposed. While firewalls are a simple measure, they are unjustly overlooked and undervalued. 

Taking the time to apply these protocols will ensure the safety of your technology solutions. Now more than ever, it’s vital to implement enhanced measures as many of our networks are not as secure as they once were. 

At AOT, we are not just a commercial office equipment company. We are a group of professionals committed to educating and informing you of the latest industry trends and best practices. We are here to serve every type of customer, with any size business, to aid you on the pathway of growth and success. Reach out to us to learn even more about protecting your devices and networks.