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Printer Security: Best Practices to Avoid Ransomware Attacks

In today’s fast-paced world, printer security threats have become a major concern for individuals and businesses alike. As technology advances, so does the sophistication of cyberattacks.

One such threat that has emerged in recent years is printer ransomware. Due to the wireless capabilities of most multi-functional printers, they have become a gateway for hackers to gain access to networks and steal sensitive information.

Why is Printer Security So Important?

Printers are now commonly connected via cloud services and can be accessed from anywhere using a Wi-Fi enabled device. This makes them vulnerable to attacks, especially if they are not secured.

If a hacker gains access to an unsecured printer, they can easily intercept print jobs or completed print jobs, gaining access to confidential information about individuals, businesses, and employees.

There have been multiple experiments and cases in the media where cyber security companies hi-jack printers with the sole purpose of raising security on printer security and ransomware attacks.

This article from Cybernews explains how they managed to hi-jack 28,000 printers to print a guide on printer security.

Print Ransomware Attacks

One of the most dangerous types of attacks that can affect printers is ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the files on your printer and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key.

The Risks of Ransomware on Unsecured Printers

Hackers can gain access to confidential information and use it for fraudulent purposes. This can include personal information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information.

They can also intercept print jobs and gain access to sensitive print data. This can be especially problematic for businesses that deal with sensitive information such as legal firms, medical facilities, and financial institutions.

Warning Signs of Printer Ransomware

It is important to be aware of the signs of printer ransomware so that you can take steps to prevent it. Signs of a virus on your printer include unusual behaviour, such as;

  • not responding to commands
  • printing unauthorised print jobs
  • refusing to install security updates.

Printer Security Best Practices

There are several steps you can take to protect your printer from ransomware attacks.

  1. Use Secure Print

One of the easiest ways to protect your printer is to use the secure print function. This function allows you to print confidential documents and ensures that they are not intercepted by hackers. You can also set network permissions on your computer to limit who can manage and access print jobs.

  1. Encrypt Stored Print Jobs

Print jobs that are stored on the printer should be encrypted to prevent unauthorised access.

  1. Keep Printer Software Up-to-date

It is important to keep your printer software up-to-date to ensure that any vulnerabilities are patched. Many printers have embedded software that is updated automatically, but if your printer does not, make sure to check for updates regularly.

  1. User Authentication

User authentication is a feature that requires users to enter a username and password before they can access the printer. This can help prevent unauthorized access and ensure that only authorized users can print documents.

  1. Keep Your Printer Drivers Up-to-date

Printer drivers are software programs that allow your computer to communicate with your printer. It is important to keep them up-to-date as they can contain bug fixes, stability improvements, and even new features that can help protect your printer.

Printer Security from iNREACH

In conclusion, printer security is important to avoid ransomware attacks. At iNREACH one of our service offerings is Manages Print Services. There are many benefits to using a Managed print Service, one of which is increased security.

Our managed Print Services offers improved security options for document printing both within the office and remotely. This could include through email or via a cloud service.

We also offer cyber security to protect your organisation from ransomware attacks. Using a trusted cyber security system, along with a secure printing service can increase the level of protection to your business.

For more information about Managed Print Services, cyber security or to discuss protecting your printer to avoid ransomware attacks, contact the team at iNREACH today.


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