10 Common Security Concerns with Network Printers

November 6, 2023

3 min read

While many businesses have ramped up their cybersecurity measures for computers and servers, there’s one often overlooked device that could be a potential weak point: the office printer. In this blog, we are going to cover some ways your printer could cause issues on your network if you do not take an aggressive position on print security.

Novatech offers cybersecurity services to our clients as well as printers and copiers, and where these merge, Novatech stands in the intersection. We are here to help you secure both your network and your print security.


Understanding the Printer Threat

Office printers, or multifunction printers (MFPs), have evolved beyond simple print tasks. They can scan, copy, email, store data, and even connect to the cloud. With such multifunctionality comes increased vulnerability. Here are 10 common ways printers can compromise network security:

  • Default Credentials: This is one of the simplest yet most prevalent risks. Manufacturers often set default usernames and passwords for their devices, making it easier for users to set up. If not updated, these credentials become an open door for cybercriminals, granting them potential access to the entire network.
  • The Threat of Outdated Firmware: Printers, like all tech devices, need updates. Manufacturers release firmware patches to rectify vulnerabilities. If a printer’s firmware isn’t kept current, it becomes a prime target for hackers familiar with these vulnerabilities.
  • Network Vulnerabilities: In the world of wireless communication, ensuring your printer’s connection is secure is crucial. An unencrypted or weakly protected connection can be exploited by attackers for various malicious activities, including data interception.
  • Data Storage Risks: Modern printers store print job data. This stored data, if not encrypted or regularly cleared, can be a treasure trove for cyber attackers, giving them access to sensitive company information.
  • Physical Access: A printer located in an accessible area can be a soft target for malicious insiders or intruders. Physical tampering can range from connecting malicious devices to altering printer configurations.
  • The Danger of Intercepted Print Jobs: In a non-secure setting, print jobs can be intercepted, granting attackers access to the information being printed.
  • Denial of Service Attacks on Printers: Yes, even printers can be victims of DoS attacks. By flooding a printer with multiple fake requests, attackers can render it unresponsive.
  • Remote Access Vulnerabilities: Many advanced printers offer remote management features. If these aren’t secured, they provide another entry point for cybercriminals.
  • Malware Embedded in Documents: Malicious software can be sneaked into a network via seemingly harmless printed documents. Once inside the network, this malware can activate and wreak havoc.
  • Misuse of Email and Cloud Features: The convenience of scan-to-email or cloud functions can backfire if not set up securely. These can be manipulated to send malware or facilitate phishing attacks.


Tightening Your Print Security with Novatech

In light of these potential vulnerabilities, businesses must prioritize printer security alongside other critical IT measures. Addressing printer vulnerabilities requires a multi-faceted approach. This includes regularly updating and patching printer software, implementing user authentication protocols, encrypting data stored in the printer, and regularly monitoring printer activity for any anomalies.

Engaging with cybersecurity experts, such as those from Novatech, can provide a robust defense against potential printer-related breaches. Our experts can carry out comprehensive assessments, ensuring your printers are not the weak link in your security chain.

In conclusion, as we become more dependent on interconnected devices, it’s crucial to recognize and address all potential security weak points, including our office printers. By understanding the risks and implementing comprehensive security measures, businesses can ensure they’re protected from all angles.

Contact Novatech today to strengthen your print and network security.

Written By: Editorial Team

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