When looking for IT consulting services in the Bay Area, you should aim for a comprehensive IT plan that keeps your network and its associated devices secure. Multifunction printers may not appear to pose any security risks, but they should be treated with the same care as any other devices connected to your network. An unprotected printer can be a security breach through which unauthorized users can access sensitive data. To secure your printer effectively, you can implement some best practices, including:

Secure the Printer

IT consulting experts in the Bay Area will first secure all the printers that are linked to your firm’s network. It is advisable to physically secure the devices, whether that includes relocating them to a secure area. The corresponding physical ports should be disabled to restrict access.

One effective way of securing the printer is by implementing a PIN system to regulate access. Your staff will need to physically type a PIN, which reduces the risk of sensitive pages being left on the tray. You can also enforce a badge-only policy in cases where your employees utilize security badges.

You should ensure that your printer is not running on an external IP address. It is safer to use an internal IP address or restrict access to a specific LAN. All the lines of communication should be encrypted to prevent the interception of sensitive print jobs.

Use the Latest Firmware

Printer manufacturers regularly release updates to their firmware to address various security issues. You, therefore, need to download and install the latest software, which will be available on the manufacturer’s website. The software will typically contain new features and fixes to enhance your printer’s protection.

Secure the Data

Sensitive data should not be transmitted through unsecured channels, especially if the transmission takes place via airwaves. The vulnerability is also present where the data is left in the storage or printer memory.

One foolproof measure you can employ is data encryption, both when the data is in storage and transit. Users should authenticate themselves to the printer before their documents begin to print, and the data should also not be stored after printing.

Another practice to consider is sending documents to an encrypted print server, which are then extracted from the server when ready.

Protect the Documents

Employees commonly leave documents in print trays, which leaves your company’s information exposed. Printouts with sensitive data may fall into the wrong hands and leave your company vulnerable. Valuable documents like checks should be protected, and you can ask an IT services provider in the Bay Area to implement protective solutions for high-value printouts.

Some printers have a push-and-pull printing feature that can be activated to reduce unclaimed documents. You can also explore private printing, where a user must be present to authorize the job.

Are Your Printers Secure?

As our IT consulting experts in the Bay Area point out, it is easy to overlook printers when surveying the potential malware risks in a business. As long as these devices are connected to your network, however, they present a security threat. At Riverfy, we will first perform a print analysis and recommend solutions to fortify your network. Contact us now to protect your sensitive information.