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8 Ways to Shore Up Print Security and Make Life Difficult for Attackers

April 30, 2019

8 Ways to Shore Up Print Security and Make Life Difficult for Attackers

April 30, 2019

All it takes is one weak access point for an attacker to gain a foothold and launch a costly data breach.

 

In response, you continue to invest in advanced security solutions like next-gen firewalls, intrusion detection systems, intrusion prevention systems, data leakage prevention, and more, only to be faced with one major problem — attackers keep finding a way in.

The reality is that every network has hidden vulnerabilities that give attackers low-hanging fruit for evading security tools. And one that constantly flies under the radar is print security.

If you want to keep your network and your data safe from cyberthreats, it’s time to shore up your print security with HP Print Security Solutions from ETS.

 

The Looming Threat of Weak Print Security

 

When it comes to print security, most people think purely in terms of protecting physical documents. While that’s certainly one component, the steady shift toward universal network connectivity has complicated print security.

Now when you’re shoring up print security, you have to worry about data in transit, authentication, network endpoint protection, and more. Unfortunately, so many security leaders are maintaining the status quo for print security and leaving their organizations vulnerable to attacks.

Already, we’re seeing attackers compromise weak print security and successfully launch data breaches:

 

 

Despite these statistics, just 44% of IT leaders say they include printers in their overall endpoint security strategies. And as a result, there’s a whole network of vulnerabilities within so many businesses.

By compromising a network-connected printer, attackers gain the freedom to launch advanced threats from within the walls of traditional perimeter defenses. That’s why it’s so important to take print security seriously and take the necessary steps to protect your network.

 

8 Ways to Address Modern Print Security

 

There’s no magic bullet answer to print security. You have to be able to track print jobs, maintain visibility into every request, and secure data as it travels across your network.

If you take the following 8 steps, you’ll be on your way to maximizing print security for the modern business network:

 

  1. Secure Data: Encrypt your data both in transit and at rest within device storage to ensure attackers can’t easily steal it.
  2. Authenticate Users: Always require users to enter PINs and passwords to complete print jobs.
  3. Monitor Access: Maintain strict access controls to track and manage precisely who prints and pulls specific documents.
  4. Add Policies: As part of your security policy, include clear print guidelines, document classifications, and user roles to avoid putting data at risk unnecessarily.
  5. Protect Firmware: Unpatched vulnerabilities in printer hard drives and BIOS are low-hanging fruit for attackers. Harden your devices even if they’re retired.
  6. Safeguard Print Trays: Don’t let documents sit in output trays. Pull-print security features ensure documents are only printed when the authorized user is present.
  7. Manage Devices: Properly retire devices when they’re not in use and ensure all connected printers can be centrally managed.
  8. Validate Components: Secure supply chain traceability ensures printer components are always safe when first deployed.

 

Compared to traditional print security that only focused on physical documents, this can seem like a lot just to harden printers. However, by deploying the right solutions, you can address all of these steps and maintain a secure print network.

 

Get the World’s Most Secure Printing Solutions

 

If left unchecked, printers will become a significant hole in the security of your business. But if you haven’t thought about advanced print security before, don’t worry — you’re not alone.

As an HP Gold Partner, we’re here to help you deploy the world’s most secure printing solutions with services customized to your specific needs.

If you want to learn more about how HP Print Security Solutions can eliminate this lesser-known vulnerability in your business, download some of our new print security resources.