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Security awareness, both at home and at the organizational level, seems to be gaining some ground. However, some of the potential security loopholes for hackers and cybercriminals remain neglected. Did you know that cybercriminals could get access to your home or company network through your printer?
Harmless as it may seem, your top-rated printer is a common gateway for hackers to gain access to your company or home network. It doesn’t matter if you use a PIN code or you just updated your network security features. Overall, this is terrible, as you’ll have security issues when you’re trying to fax from a printer without a phone line and using wireless networking.
Due to improved security by companies on Wi-Fi and mobile access, printers have become an easy alternative for hackers to breach security and access passwords, files, documentation, images, and other intellectual property. Additionally, like anything with moving parts, proper maintenance is important. Ink can dry up quickly, even in a printer with the longest-lasting ink cartridges. To learn more, you can read our article on how long printer ink is good for.
Having unprotected wireless printer access is like leaving your home front door wide open. You should know how wireless printers work so that you understand that once Cybercriminals get access to your wireless printer, they can do all sorts of damage, including:
Fortunately, printer owners can secure their printers by regularly advancing their security options.
While printer security often feels like a low-level breach, it is just one of the many ways unauthorized individuals can get access to your network. Here are a few things you can do to enhance your printer security.
Perhaps the most common method unauthorized persons can get access to your wireless printer and ultimately compromise your data is through a shared network. Therefore, it’s wise to make sure that you review and disable anything that might promote printing over the network.
This includes configuring your network setting to ensure that your printer only responds to commands through your network router.
Depending on your printer’s make and model, you can do this by:
Can hackers get access to my network through my wireless printer?
Yes. Due to enhanced security by companies on Wi-Fi and mobile access, printers have become an easy alternative for hackers to breach security and get access to passwords, files, documentation, images, and other intellectual property.
How do I secure my wireless printer?
The best way to secure your printer is by Password-protecting it, updating your software and drivers, avoid connecting your printer to a hotspot, and enabling your firewall.
Can you password-protect a wireless printer?
Yes. It is possible to password-protect your wireless printer. Some manufacturers have developed in-built password protection. While Windows doesn’t have a feature to password-protect your printer, you can still use third-party applications.
How do I disable network printing?
You can disable network printing by configuring your network setting to ensure that your printer only responds to commands through your network router.
How do I prevent printing access to clients and customers in my network?
You must create a guest network solely for this function if you offer access to clients and guests on your wireless network. This means that your clients or guests will have access to the internet but not your primary network.
STAT: In 2021 the Printing Industry in the US was estimated at $75.3 billion. This is a -2% market size growth compared to the previous year. The industry has also experienced a -3.1% growth between 2016 and 2021 (source)