Data security is becoming an increasing issue. However, when people think about storing data safely, they only usually ever think of digital data. However, the truth is that companies often overlook their printed documents too. This is because many people will tend to think that files are more secure on paper. Which is only partly true, because it is not the paper but the printer that possesses a massive security risk. In a modern workspace, almost every device is connected to a printer. This leaves the entire organization extremely vulnerable. One of the easiest ways for hackers to access sensitive data is by targeting printers. This can lead them directly back to all the connected devices. Here is everything you need to know about secure printing.
Print from reliable sources
Some of the most important things to consider are who is doing the printing and where it is being done. You can do this by authorizing only a select few individuals to access the printer and change its settings. You can also hire reliable document printing services to help you handle your printing and deliver some of the most high-quality designed prints. By outsourcing your printing or by limiting who gets access to your printers, you can minimize the risk drastically.
Secure all the devices
Since data breaches always include at least one compromised device it is important to maximally secure all of the devices including the printers within a network as this is the only way to eliminate any weak links. You can install anti-virus software on your desktops, laptops, and any other mobile devices. In case your company relies on third-party software make sure that everyone is using licensed and verified programs.
You can also make connecting to the web much safer by buying an enterprise VPN. This will mask the IP address of all of your devices and printers making it much more difficult for hackers to get to your sensitive data. All of these practices should be especially applied to devices that employees bring with them. In recent years many companies have allowed their employees to work from home. This can seriously hinder the security performance of your company, because private networks are even more unreliable.
For this reason, encourage your employees to avoid public Wi-Fi connections, regularly update their systems, change their passwords and always connect using VPN while working. This is especially true if they have to use their own home printers.
Protect the documents
Documents whether physical or digital have to be handled with extreme precaution. Sensitive information should be stored in secure places or locked away. When handling a digital document, it is important to encrypt files on digital workspaces.
That is why it is worth using digital coworking platforms that guarantee built-in security protocols. Digital files should also only ever be kept on computers that have reliable antivirus software installed. In addition, documents can be saved using a password. Sometimes it can be tempting to save time by simply sending a file using e-mail. Use an encrypted environment instead, or deliver a physical copy by hand.
Lastly, many companies face data breaches not because of newly used documents but because of some old and forgotten pieces of data. These files should be shredded or deleted if they are no longer required.
Use security software
Just like computers use anti-virus software, it is also possible to use security software for your printers. There are cloud-based platforms available, which allow companies to transfer and receive data all on one platform. The cloud-based solution offers printing across all devices that are linked to the platform.
This allows employees to print from any verified device in the network, even smartphones. In addition, companies are able to save a lot of money too, because they do not need to invest in expensive dedicated servers for printers. At the core of these platforms are strong authentication protocols which allow full control and monitoring over what is being printed.
Establish use policies
With the increasing trend of remote working, it is really important to boost overall security by establishing hardware use policies. This means that IT departments in companies should overlook and manage all digital device purchases. It is necessary to gather information about who gets to use a device and which devices are allowed on the network. This is the only way to vet the hardware used and then integrate it into the general cyber security framework within the company.
Modern office challenges revolve around keeping data secure. Maintaining printer security is by far the most important because these devices are quite easy to access. Companies can ensure maximum security of their printing practices if they implement important actionable steps.
This can be done by printing from reliable sources and including authorized personnel. Each device in the network should also be monitored and secured. Documents, both physical and digital should be safeguarded. In addition, it is worth implementing printer security software and establishing general use policies.