The word "hacking" is enough to strike fear into even the bravest heart--but add the word "printer" at the beginning and some people start to lose interest. After all, it's just a printer, right? It can't possibly be as serious as your company's cloud accounts or computers.
The truth, however, is that printer hacking is a big deal--and a big problem, too. Here's what you need to know and how managed print can save the day.
Managed Print: Printer Hacking FAQs
Before we dive into managed print and why it's about to become your printer's best friend, let's take a look at what you're up against. Here are some of the most important things to know about printer hacking:
Which printers are vulnerable?
The unfortunate truth is that any printer may be vulnerable to cyberattacks and other forms of data theft. Let's take a closer look:
- Network printers are vulnerable when they're connected to the internet but aren't protected by a firewall and other security features. Unfortunately, this is all too common, as many businesses tend to overlook printers in favor of protecting more obvious vulnerabilities.
- Unconnected printers can be at risk, too. That's because there are ways to physically steal data. Although these attacks don't technically count as "hacking," they can still put your company at risk.
How do hackers gain access?
Hackers gain access in a variety of ways depending on the printer, the network setup, and their own skills. Here are a few examples:
- Guessing passwords: Printers come with default passwords. If a company fails to change these defaults, a hacker can guess them and get immediate access.
- Connecting directly: If a printer isn't protected, it may be possible for hackers to connect to the machine directly and do whatever they please.
- Using a USB: If the hacker has physical access to a machine, they can plug in a USB and install malware that turns the printer into an open door to the rest of the network.
- Using phishing tactics: A hacker may trick employees into giving up basic information and then use this to gain access to a printer that isn't properly protected.
What can happen if a hacker takes control?
Cyberattacks can range from inconvenient to potentially devastating. Here are a few things that can happen if a hacker gains access:
- Stolen data: Once a hacker is in control of your printer, they can reach the rest of your network and take whatever they want. That includes sensitive data like financial information that can be used to blackmail or otherwise harm your business.
- Redirected documents: Instead of accessing your entire network, a hacker might decide to redirect document printing to a device to which they have physical access. That means they'll have your documents and all the data contained there.
- Changed settings: A hacker might change settings on a printer to make it easier to access the rest of your network or to lock you out of your own device.
- Distractions: If a hacker wants to cause a lot of damage, they might use your printers as a distraction, starting a lot of print jobs all at once to keep your focus away from a larger attack happening elsewhere.
How Managed Print Protects Your Fleet
The good news is that you don't have to live in fear of hackers. Managed print services helps protect your printers online and off--and here's how:
To protect your network printers, your managed print provider works with you in selecting top-notch security solutions. They'll help you choose firewalls, passwords, encryption, and other tools that defend your machines in the digital world. The goal is to make your printers just as secure as the rest of your company's tech so hackers don't see any open doors.
On top of that, a managed print provider helps you learn more about these digital criminals, how they operate, and how they think. This helps you protect yourself against threats like phishing. They'll also work with you to stay on top of new threats, so you're always prepared for the unexpected.
Managed print services is your partner offline, too. Your provider can help you choose tools that protect your machine from physical attacks. For example, you might start using follow-me printing, which keeps prints in a queue until the proper person reaches the machine and enters a PIN. This limits the risk of documents being stolen off the printer tray, which is just one more way a malicious actor could harm your company.
A managed print provider also helps improve your fleet. You'll have better, more reliable printers with stronger built-in security and smarter settings, which means fewer risks. You'll also be able to identify outdated machines or those that aren't carrying their weight.
In conclusion, managed print services is an excellent defense against cybercriminals. It protects you both online and off, giving you the tools necessary to defend your printers, your data, and your business.
Ready to see what managed print can do for you? Contact us today!