A lot of thought goes into keeping the network secure and even securing computers. However, it seems that there’s often much less talk about the role of reliable printing in an office. Yes, even modern printers and copiers represent a security risk. They’re equipped with hard drives, CPUs, and an internet connection – everything which cybercriminals need to access a company’s computer network.
Securing the printers and copiers in an office is not just good sense when it comes to cybersecurity. It’s also a way to improve the efficiency and productivity of an office.
Five Advantages of Secure Printing
The printer represents one of the most invaluable tools in an office. As a quintessential feature of the productivity ecosystem, it often plays a central role in business processes. Keeping it secure has many advantages, both in terms of security and productivity. These advantages include the ability to:
1. Protect Data at Every Stage
Printing is a central force of business processes, and all manner of information passes through the company printer each day. While many businesses invest heavily in secure document management frameworks and cybersecurity for their networks, they often overlook the printer itself. However, sending a piece of sensitive information to an unsecured printer amounts to removing it from the web of protections which have been carefully crafted within an organization.
Secure printers and copiers, however, close this loophole. Whether auto-deleting the print jobs stored on the device’s hard drive or making it harder to access the printer physically, printer security helps keep precious data secure at every stage.
2. Minimize Malware Exposure
Although printers and copiers aren’t where company data is typically stored, they have access to the next best thing – the company’s computers. As a result, it’s quite common for cybercriminals to use unsecured printers as a launchpad for malware.
The printer functions as a soft underbelly in a company’s cyber defenses. Once on the network, malware moves laterally from printer to computer, where it becomes much easier to tunnel its way into the rest of the network. Securing a printer prevents this from happening by taking away the opportunity for malware to gain a foothold.
3. Encourage a Culture of Security Best Practices
Many elements of printer security emphasize employee behavior, creating an opportunity to encourage a culture of safety best practices across the organization. These might include policies against leaving printed documents in the tray, or authentication requirements to access the physical printer. Such policies help keep security a visible topic in the workplace, and train employees to adopt a security-minded approach to company data.
4. Keep Resources Accessible
Secure printing helps reduce the amount of printing which occurs in an office. With strategies such as print tracking management software and user authentication, it’s much harder for employees to print off personal documents or freely access consumables. Likewise, printers experience less downtime due to incidents which may arise from a lack of security. As a result, the printers stay accessible when they’re needed.
5. Access Modern Technology to Achieve More
Modern printers and copiers are much more secure than their older counterparts. Modern multifunction printers, which bundle printing, copying, faxing, and scanning into one convenient device, are equipped with robust security features. They also include features such as automation and integration software to allow companies to create a more streamlined work environment.
Companies finding it challenging to develop a printer security strategy of adequate strength may need to seriously consider upgrading the printer or the copier altogether. Most office laser printers have a lifespan of about five years. To put things into perspective, Apple released the iPhone 6 in 2014. If the company printer or copier is older than an iPhone 6, then it’s time to upgrade.
Secure Your Printers With DME
Printers often constitute an overlooked security risk within an office. Although they’re web-connected and capable of storing sensitive information, they’re not regarded as a significant threat. However, they’re still routinely hacked and seeded with malware which can easily spread from a printer to the rest of a company’s network.
Secure printing delivers many advantages to a company beyond simply being good for overall security. With a secure printer and copier, a company enjoys increased productivity, better workflow efficiency, and access to more modern, powerful tools.
DME helps companies develop and refine their workflows through the deployment of the best tools for the job. Contact us today to discover your options for creating a secure printing environment.