You might have the latest antivirus software to protect you from a devastating cyberbreach, but this means absolutely nothing if your multifunction printer hasn’t been considered. Cybercriminals are clever, so you need to keep a step ahead by checking you have these key security features.
What is a multifunction printer (MFP)?
This innovative piece of equipment includes the functionality of a printer, copier, scanner and fax all in one machine. These are incredibly effective machines that help businesses consolidate assets while improving overall workflow.
What are the security risks?
Because of all the functions performed by this printer, and its connectivity both to the wider network and the internet, multifunction printers are vulnerable to attack. In fact, these printers can even be used as an entry point to gain credentials and access more sensitive documents.
What are the security features?
If you’re looking at investing in a new multifunction printer, here are some of the security features you will want to check for before making your final decision.
Security feature #1: Password protection
The first step in preventing cyberattacks is implementing password protection in the form of user identification. This password installation feature is available with many multifunction printers and is the first line of defence in cybersecurity. This can be a user log-in or ID card, as well as an additional account lockout function to temporarily lock accounts after a number of incorrect login attempts.
Security feature#2: Data encryption
Internet connectivity makes your multi-function printer susceptible to man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks. This is because multifunction printers store data temporarily. If left unsecured, cybercriminals can insert themselves in your connection and intercept the data passing from you to the printer. To prevent this interception, you can use full-disk encryption that scrambles the content stored on the hard drive, blocking access to hackers. Data encryption keeps all information, including sensitive information, protected.
Security feature#3: Follow-me
Another element of the first security feature mentioned is follow-me or pull printing which helps keep documents confidential. This enables you to release your print job from the printer once you’ve authenticated yourself with a log-in or ID card. This means the job is erased as soon as it’s printed. The follow-me feature ensures that no-one but the owner of the printout has access to them, so there’s no risk of you walking away having forgotten confidential documents.
Security feature#4: Data overwrite function
The one thing we all know is that computers store information for a while. And so it is with a multifunction printer – once the job is completed and you have your printed document, the file is not yet deleted from the disk drive, which can make you vulnerable to attacks. The data overwrite function ensures all the data on the printer is erased rather than stored for future access.
Security feature #5: Network monitoring
The connection of the multi-function printer to countless network devices is another security threat that needs to be addressed. With a network monitoring feature, you can be assured that any suspicious behaviour or potential threats will immediately be identified and an alert given. Certain multifunction printers have software installed that detects and blocks malware preventing a costly data breach.
Security feature #6: Secure reboot
Modern multifunction printer ranges can automatically detect threats as soon as the printer is rebooted. This means switching the devices off once the work day ends and, when switched on again, any errors or threats will be immediately picked up. There is also a security feature known as whitelisting that restarts the printer if it picks up any unapproved programme.
Security feature #7: Continuous monitoring
Beyond the secure reboot, multifunction printers are able to run continuous monitoring for any printer threats and provide immediate alerts if there’s any unwanted activity. This can even stop normal operations and only reboot once the threat has been neutralised.
Make the safe choice by contacting PanSolutions, the world-class leader in business product distribution. They can talk you through the best multifunction printers for your unique security needs.