According to Quocirca’s Print Security Landscape 2023 report in the past 12 months, 61% of organizations have experienced data losses due to less than stellar print environment security. A data breach is devastating for a company. Along with the financial losses, costs of investigations, and loss to productivity, a company’s reputation is on the line in the event of a cybercriminal attack.
And while it’s a staggering number, it is not all that surprising. Securing your devices extends beyond the realm of computers and smartphones. Often overlooked, printers and copiers pose a significant vulnerability in the modern workplace. In fact, many older devices were constructed before current security protocols existed, making them susceptible to exploitation.
However, this need not be the case. To fortify your devices and print environments, it is essential to implement advanced security measures such as multifactor authentication (MFA) and OAuth. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pressing need to secure your devices and highlight additional security features you should consider.
Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide multiple forms of identification before accessing sensitive information or executing print jobs. MFA can include various factors such as passwords, bio-metrics (fingerprint, facial recognition), smart cards, or one-time passcodes.
Just like your PC, implementing MFA on printers and copiers significantly mitigates the risk of unauthorized access, ensuring that only authorized personnel can operate these devices.
OAuth (Open Authorization)
OAuth is a widely adopted standard for authorization that enables secure access to protected resources without requiring the direct sharing of passwords. Implementing OAuth for printers and copiers can enhance security by allowing users to grant limited and controlled access to their accounts without exposing their login credentials.
This approach ensures that only authorized applications or services can interact with the devices, reducing the potential for unauthorized access or data breaches.
Secure Firmware Updates
Regular firmware updates are crucial for patching security vulnerabilities in printers and copiers. However, to ensure a secure print environment, it is vital to establish a secure mechanism for firmware updates.
Implementing secure boot processes and cryptographic verification mechanisms can prevent the installation of unauthorized or malicious firmware, thereby reducing the risk of compromise.
User Access Controls
To prevent unauthorized use and ensure accountability, organizations should implement robust user access controls. Enforce user authentication mechanisms, including strong passwords, and assign access privileges based on job roles and responsibilities.
Implementing granular access controls helps limit potential security breaches and ensures that only authorized personnel can access and use the devices’ functionalities.
Data Encryption and Secure Printing
Sensitive data often passes through printers and copiers, making encryption a crucial security measure. Employ data-in-motion and data-at-rest encryption protocols to protect information during transmission and storage.
Additionally, secure printing options, such as requiring user authentication at the device to release print jobs, can prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing sensitive documents left unattended in output trays.
Audit Trails and Logging
Robust logging capabilities and audit trails enable organizations to monitor and track printer and copier activities. By consistently keeping detailed records of user interactions, print jobs, and system events, you can promptly detect any suspicious or unauthorized activities.
Audit trails also facilitate forensic investigations in the event of a security incident, helping identify the source and scope of a breach.
Additional Measures to Consider
While encryption, MFA, and OAuth form the foundational bricks of print environment security, your organization can take a few additional steps to actively cultivate a security-first culture. These include:
Let the Print Professionals Handle It
Often, integrating your print and scanning devices into your current security stack is a tall order for a small IT department. Printers, copiers, and scanners tend to exist in a niche domain of IT services that creates a significant challenge.
With a Managed Print Service, experts who are well-versed in print environment security and integration into your current infrastructure easily and expertly handle these security challenges. In fact, according to the same study cited earlier, users of an MPS express significantly higher satisfaction levels, with 39% reporting being very satisfied, compared to those not currently utilizing an MPS or having no plans to use one, of which only 23% are satisfied.
Securing Your Print Environment is a Necessity
Cybercrime is showing no signs of slowing down. Quite the opposite, as more of our everyday devices become cogs in the machinery of the internet, more vulnerabilities will be available to exploit. It is becoming increasingly dangerous for companies to ignore the security of their peripheral devices.
Still, implementing the security features outlined in this article significantly reduces the risk of a data breach causing the loss of time, money, and reputation, offering peace of mind to any business owner.
Why Not Take It Further?
As printers and copiers become increasingly complex, so do the concerns regarding print environment security. But, with Managed Print Services from Waltz Business Solutions, you can rest assured that your devices are secure from cyber criminals and bad actors.
And the benefits don’t stop there. Numerous studies show that MPS can save a company up to 30% on their printing costs.
Security, peace of mind, and cost savings with Managed Print Services from Waltz. Click the button below to schedule a free assessment and see how Waltz can make your company more secure from data breaches.