4 steps to better printer security

printer security

It is all too easy to forget about printers, stuck away in the corner of the office. But just think about some of the sensitive data and documents you send to your printer. The fact is, printers are no longer just a dumb peripheral, they are increasingly sophisticated and networked – which makes them an easy source for a security breach. When looking at your organization, printer security should be on the list when performing a security assessment.

But like any networked device, they have the potential to expose your business to hackers, and risk your sensitive data and reputation.Ultimately, your printer fleet, just like the rest of your IT infrastructure, needs to be monitored, managed and protected. Fail to implement some basic security controls, and you risk facing the financial, legal and reputational implications of a security breach.

Follow these four guidelines to ensure your printer fleet conforms to industry best practice and doesn’t risk being compromised.

Invest in reliable printer security

Start by integrating your entire printer fleet into your organization’s security controls and procedures. This should include models of all brands and ages. Then change the default password and restrict access using a network firewall that only lets trusted IPs connect with the print fleet. You should also make printing only available on your local network, and then only to registered users.

Monitor use and users

You need to monitor activity and use across all your print fleet, right down to the user and document level. Look to third-party auditing tools to help you achieve this, so you can log and track all users and know exactly what they’re doing on your network. You should also be educating your users on best-practice print security as part of your wider security protocol.

Conduct vulnerability assessments

Instead of waiting for your network to become compromised, you should always look to catch intruders before they strike by conducting ongoing vulnerability assessments. These can help you identify weak points in your system before hackers do. If you don’t have the staff resources to manage this yourself, a security assessment service can help identify your most critical vulnerabilities.

Patch and update security

As part of your regular patch management schedule, look to update and patch your printers with the latest firmware and security updates. Fail to implement them and you could leave a door open to malicious code, or worse.

Actively managing the security of your printer fleet will help to keep your business protected and compliant, and will ensure it isn’t compromised by a security breach.

If you are looking for a managed print solution, EDC recommends Copy and Camera.  With over 50 years in business, Copy and Camera can help reduce costs while providing reliable solutions.

Managed Print Services

Stay Safe and Secure Online with these tips!

Safe and Secure
One of the few industries in the world that will never see budget cuts is security. As the world grows ever more complex and connected, our valuable information is increasingly exposed to malicious actors around the world. This is why it’s important to stay safe and secure when using your computer.

However, there are experts around the world working behind the scenes to fight the good fight, thwarting the hackers with ingenious new technologies such as the self-healing BIOS, self-encrypting drives and pre-boot authentication.

But while these guardians are feverishly battling on our behalf, all too often we turn out to be own worst enemy. Cutting corners, clicking suspect dodgy links and downloading untrustworthy materials – we honestly do bring it on ourselves.

So, here are a few good habits that will help prevent you from falling prey to today’s cyber-villains:

  1. Mum’s the word: Good, strong passwords. We’re all too familiar with the concept, but the truth is it can’t be understated and a couple of tweaks can turn an easy password into a tough nut to crack. Try adding a few numeric characters into a favourite phrase (like turning DangerZone into d@ng3rz0n3).
  2. Never too much: Two-step verification is fast becoming the new standard for security, and that’s a good thing. With a simple tap on your phone or ‘yes’ on your email you can ensure it’s really you. Also, always use a VPN when in public places – it encrypts all incoming and outgoing data.
  3. Locked up tight: Many people use the same password or a slight variation on it for multiple accounts, meaning one breach can leave all your accounts open. Try using a secure password manager (such as LastPass) to create unique passwords for each account – and keep track of them.
  4. Go ahead, make my day: Those with nothing to lose have nothing to steal. Ransomware is one of the most prevalent and profitable forms of cybercrime out there right now, but it can be circumvented very easily – with backups. Ransomware works by holding your valuable data to ransom, but if your files are securely backed up they don’t have a lot of value to a hacker.
  5. Click in haste, repent at leisure: Lots of malware requires users to open files or follow links, so users should always take care what they click on – if a link or file looks suspect, it probably is.
  6. In this season: And finally, perhaps the most obvious – keep your software up-to-date. Software providers are continually patching new bugs in their systems as they appear, but these fixes can only help if you let them in.

Pitch tech solutions to upper management – and succeed!

Pitch Tech Solutions
Explain the financial benefits

One of the challenges of IT is that, if you do your job well, no one will ever know you’ve done anything at all. That’s why you need to have very tool available when you pitch tech solutions to upper management.

Take the issue of data loss and downtime, which 64 percent of IT workers at small to medium businesses (SMBs) say is ‘a life-or-death situation’ that needs to be resolved within 24 hours.

And while ‘life-or-death’ may sound hyperbolic, the costs can often spell the end of an SMB.

According to consulting firm IDC and Carbonite, downtime can cost hundreds of dollars per minute, with businesses potentially losing $82,200 to $256,000 for a single business interruption.

So, one of the best ways to get the budget for your IT request is to show management how the initial outlay will be worth the investment in the long run by potentially avoiding such a disaster.

Give the gift of time!

A July 2017 study from the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School found that you can, in fact, buy happiness. In a nutshell, paying someone else to do a task, freeing up your own time, puts a smile on your dial.

Well these days, instead of paying a person to free up your time, you’re more likely to rely on software or other digital technology. However, many businesses fail to automate systems, costing them time and money.

2016 study from Samanage found that outdated technology in the United States causes workers to lose more than one full day of work each week.

The lesson learned here? Efficient IT expenditure can ensure your company is as productive as possible. So if you want to sell the benefits of IT to your managers, illustrate that the budget you require will ultimately be paid back with the gift of time!

Cut the jargon

IT can be one of the most intimidating departments to deal with, as the walls to entry are particularly high, given the extensive use of jargon in the industry.

So if you need to communicate an IT issue with management, keep the jargon to a minimum. Make sure you’re clear and concise with what you need. Outline the facts, highlight the business benefits of your IT spend and how it will save the company time and money.

You’ve got this!