In today’s world, protecting your network is critical to protecting your business. However, many companies overlook one component: the printer. Hackers can use the printer to infiltrate a network, steal data, block a printer from printing necessary documents, and otherwise wreak havoc on a business. How can you protect yourself? These tips can help!
1. Change the Password
The easiest tip is also one that is most overlooked. If you don’t change the password from the default, getting into your printer is a trivial matter. Reset the password to help deter hackers.
Use password authentication to authorize any print jobs, to help guard your printer from unauthorized use.
2. Update the Firmware
Manufacturers often put out firmware updates and patches to fix any bugs and deal with any security holes they’ve become aware of. Not updating your firmware leaves you vulnerable to these known problems – which hackers will know too. Regularly check for updates and install them promptly.
3. Use a Firewall
A firewall helps prevent unauthorized access to any device on your network, including your printer. While Windows has one built-in, you may want to purchase a stronger one to better protect your business.
4. Turn Off Unnecessary Ports and Features
Much like not changing the default password, leaving all your ports open and features on by default leaves a lot of open doors for hackers to enter.
Your network has many open ports that you probably aren’t using. Closing these can provide further protection by giving hackers fewer routes to enter your network. These can include:
- Ports 515, 721-731, and 9100
- Internet Printing Protocol on Port 631
- Server Message Block
You can turn these off via your router. If you find that you need one or more of these, you can always turn them back on later.
You should also make sure to keep your printer powered off when not in use, to further decrease the risk of being hacked.
Your network’s security is only as strong as the weakest link, and for many businesses that means the printer. Taking these steps to secure your printer can help secure your network overall and protect your business.