Protecting Office Printers and MFPs from Security Risks
It is no secret that in this age of new normality, increased security threats such as phishing or ransomware attacks, are a very real concern. Almost all devices are prone to cybersecurity threats and office printers and multifunction devices (MFPs) are no exception. For example, an attacker might impersonate a corporate entity and send COVID-19 related communications to an organization’s employees and customers in order to trick them into sharing confidential information and allowing wrongful actions to take place, such as hijacking of network devices. Consequently, businesses can face many challenges if IT practices are not executed properly, including putting their organization’s data at risk.
Some common practices that can potentially increase threats through an organization’s printers and MFPs include:
- Not changing login passwords regularly, or not even changing the default passwords
- Leaving your network connections unencrypted and unsecure
- Unauthorized inbound and outbound email access with the printer or MFP
- Unprotected access to the device from a mobile device or cloud service
- Employees printing confidential information and forgetting it on the printer tray
- Employees scanning or copying secure documents and not retrieving the original copy
- Leaving data on a hard drive when trading in a printer or MFP
Given these sensitivities, how can administrators protect themselves from vulnerabilities in the workplace or the home office? For one, your local MFP dealer or Sharp representative can be an excellent source for companies interested in learning how to use the correct security settings or implement security applications They are aware of current cybersecurity threats and can provide proper employee training, protection tips and recovery plans should information be compromised.
Organizations should also properly manage their endpoints and resources in order to protect network and data. Part of this is ensuring they are downloading the latest updates for their devices and maintaining a fresh disaster recovery plan. Businesses should also do their research on companies that offer managed IT services that can serve as an extension of their existing IT staff. Many of these companies provide free cybersecurity resources, such as Sharp’s security checklist or Security Guide to help customers protect their MFPs from malware, phishing, social engineering and other similar attacks.
While keeping up to date on the safest processes and technologies, it is also important for IT professionals to train their organization’s employees to use network devices properly. This includes using caution when clicking links, opening attachments or leaving confidential documents on exit trays. Your employees are your first line of defense against cyberattacks. See this social engineering red flags checklist.
Today’s cybersecurity environment is riskier than ever, which is why it’s essential for organizations to better educate themselves. Make sure to arm yourself with the right resources and technology to ensure that confidential materials remain secure.