Protecting data in a networked printer is harder than what can be imagined. It is actually next to impossible considering that security breaches can come from almost anywhere. Printer security is of utmost necessity.
What to do is a multi-faceted question, because nobody can predict where security breach strikes. Most worry that the network is not secured enough to hold classified information particularly those workhorse printers in offices that can be the source of data breach. Arguing that printers store information in memory and can be intercepted. But never paying significant attention to printed documents that lay unprotected in output trays.
Some offices developed practical standards to manage these devices thoroughly. And had perfected measures to secure printing appropriately. Some of the adapted practices are shown hereunder:
- Protect the printer: Never place the printer in an open area where it becomes accessible to everybody, even walk-in clients. Physically secure the device, lock it in place, disable ports to prevent unauthorized use. Institute authentication and authorization protocols when accessing the device.
- Protect the data: This is important because sensitive data is vulnerable as it traverses the network or airwave. Particularly added risk is observed when data accumulates in the printer memory or storage.
- Protect the documents: Never leave hard copies in printer trays, each employee must be responsible enough to pull out documents right after it comes out of the printer. When documents lay idle in printer trays creates a security risk as it can be viewed or carried off by anyone.
- Maintain an ideal printing environment: Monitoring and managing the printing environment is part of securing documents. Computers have tools and utilities that help offices track and record print jobs, follow through on usage and streamline printing practices. These special tools helps identify employees that ignore company policies and abuse printing privileges. Plus these tools develop opportunities to reduce print jobs and save money in the process.
Offices employing printer security measures not just protect sensitive data, but also manage the printing environment. It gives offices the opportunity to save on operating expenses by monitoring employee printing privileges. It becomes a multi-pronged approach to maintain an ideal working atmosphere.
Be secure in the thought that printers are designed with state of the art security features. There is really no reason to doubt the integrity of the printer. What offices need is to tighten physical printer security measures in dealing with the printing environment.