How Your Printer Could Be Leaking Data

Printer Services Newsletter 7.3

Continuing on from our last newsletter, we explore and highlight the risks that can come from having a printer or multifunction. Having connected devices can help you and your team work remotely and, help you work more efficiently. But, at times, this comes with a potential price: data loss and/or data theft.

How Your Printer Could Be Leaking Data

When it comes to security, multifunction printers are often overlooked. We care for our servers, computers and phones, but we forget that our office printer can also be a target for malicious attacks. Did you know that multifunction printers can have hard-drives the size of recent-spec laptops? This is great for storing lots of data, but is this data protected?
Such a device allows you to print, scan, fax or e-mail any document you need, so it goes without saying that our business printers are filled with potentially sensitive business information. From the company’s latest marketing strategy to legal, financial and personnel files – all of these can be found if your printer is hacked.


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What Are The Major Security Risks?

First of all, there is a physical risk: a malicious employee or visitor in your office can access a poorly secured printer easily and steal any information and documents stored there. We don’t think much about people loitering around an office printer, so such an attack could easily go unnoticed.
Second of all, multifunction printers with poor security can be an entryway towards all the connected devices. If it isn’t shared properly, a password isn’t set and its open to the internet, then it is an open door for hackers to enter your network.
Last, but not least, aside from the data leakage, a malicious person who gains control over a multifunction printer can also create havoc: adding endless print jobs, causing certain documents to print in more copies than needed or changing administrative settings are just a few examples.


What Can You Do To Protect Your Data?

If you want to make sure that your data is safe and continue to enjoy the perks of state-of-the-art multifunction printers, you will also benefit from outstanding security features like:
Secure Print: this feature allows you to set a password on your print job; thus, the data is encrypted for transmission and is hidden from prying eyes by only printing when a password is entered on the control panel.
Cloud storage: this feature doesn’t just offer extra flexibility, but also top-level security. 
Server-less On-Demand printing: a feature similar to Secure Print, where you send your data to a group of shared printers configured with the Server-less On-Demand print feature. Authentication is needed for the print job to begin, but you choose the most convenient device from which to collect your print job.