Service or Supplies: 866-754-7677

You may have a firewall, antivirus solution, content filter, and other key cybersecurity solutions – but have you ensured your printers are secure as well?

With every year that goes by, cybersecurity becomes more and more crucial to the survival of small businesses – but that doesn’t mean that physical safeguards aren’t just as important as they’ve always been. One hasn’t replaced the other; it’s just that there’s so much more for a concerned business owner to keep in mind when it comes to securing their business.

Printers are easily among the least favored technology used today – despite the many advancements of so many different types of consumer technologies, printers still seem to work just as poorly as they did years ago. The same can be said of their security capabilities.

When they work, multifunction printers (MFPs) are great tools, offering your team the ability to do just about anything their duties would require them to do from a single piece of hardware. Unfortunately, much of what makes MFPs so useful also makes them a major flaw in your network’s security.

Cybercriminals use MFPs to wreak havoc on businesses more often than you might think, with seriously unpleasant consequences. Despite that fact, a lot of businesses — and their IT support providers — still overlook this potentially giant flaw in their otherwise highly-secure network.

The main reason an MFP is such an area of concern is that unlike single-function printers that connect directly to a computer, MFPs have sophisticated internal hard drives and CPUs that process and store data, and run on their own software. This “brain power” gives hackers something to play with, and without the right endpoint protections in place, security breaches are almost inevitable.

MFPs store every scan they perform on an internal hard drive, which is often left unsecured and ready for hackers to access. That’s why it’s so important to recognize and treat the printer as a part of your IT infrastructure; whether it’s wired or on the Wi-Fi network, it needs to be properly secured.

If your MFPs aren’t properly configured and secured, it’s very easy for a hacker to help themselves to the data being transmitted to and from those printers. In fact, they can even use an unsecured printer to gain access to your network, plant malware, and steal valuable data.

If your business relies on an MFP for daily work, there are a number of considerations you have to keep in mind in order to stay secure:

Hacking and Malware

Once someone gets inside your network, they can block access to information and disrupt workflows that are essential to your business’ daily work, which is both inconvenient and potentially dangerous. Especially if a hacker uses the opportunity to plant malware or ransomware inside your network.

The biggest risk involved with MFPs is that a hacker could reroute or intercept information being sent to the printer they’ve gotten control of. If that information isn’t encrypted, there’s nothing to stop them from helping themselves to whatever they can find. Giving your MFPs private IP addresses or creating VLANs to keep them from connecting directly to the Internet can keep hackers and their nasty tricks out.


Data encryption should already be part of your data security protocols, but often those protocols only apply to data stored on your network, not data that’s being transmitted. Data that’s been encrypted is all but useless to cybercriminals since, without the key, that data is unreadable. That being said, a hacker who can get a hold of a staff member’s credentials can sometimes get a hold of that key, so it’s still important to have a strong firewall and antivirus software in place to limit unauthorized access as much as possible.

Authentication and Access Controls

Authentication and Access Controls are also a foundational aspect of proper cybersecurity. Newer MFPs with more advanced settings can use the same type of authentication protocols you should have on your workstations and other devices, such as a smart card, magnetic swipe card, PIN code, or fingerprint. This is great for a few reasons since it lets you place strict access controls both as an overall security measure and as a means of managing access for your staff.

Plus, this type of Two-Factor Authentication, when combined with MFP features like “hold job”, keeps sensitive documents from printing automatically and sitting in the printer tray for anyone to walk up and grab. Having to physically interact with the printer and prove your identity before documents will print protects your business data, and can cut down on wasted paper and toner by eliminating unnecessary print jobs.

A central printer server that monitors and controls information traveling to and from all of your organization’s MFPs is the best solution as far as thorough security goes. When all printer traffic is moving through a single hub, suspicious activity is easier to catch. This setup works best when all of your MFPs are purchased from the same vendor, ensuring smooth communication between all of your devices and making it much easier for all of your MFPs to be configured correctly. This setup also gives you better control over “hold job” and similar features, letting you limit certain functions to only specific offices or work areas.

Does all that sound like a lot to take care of? Well, it is – but the good news is that, with Ray Morgan Company on your side, you don’t have to.

As a part of our comprehensive cybersecurity support services, we’re proud to help clients like you keep their networked printers totally secure. That way, you and your staff can use your printer as intended for daily work without having to worry about getting hacked.

For more information about proven ways to secure your business’ printers from cyber attacks, get in touch with Ray Morgan Company at (530) 343-6065 or

Make the Change to California & Nevada’s Most Trusted IT and Computer Services Company

If you’re looking to eliminate the stress, headaches, and hassles that come along with rapidly evolving technology trends, choose us as your trusted partner.

3131 Esplanade, Chico, CA 95973 800-640-6065