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by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Printers Are Network Access Devices Too

August 10, 2022

Essentially, a modern day printer is another computer device connected to your network. That means it’s a potential access point to your network and should be protected just like a user’s workstation or server. CSO has a post identifying eight tips to secure your network attached printers.

  1. Limit access privileges to printers
  2. Disable unused protocols
  3. Review printer firmware level
  4. Beware of automatic reports of printer activity
  5. Know what information your printers process
  6. Properly manage printer log files
  7. Confirm security controls
  8. Review latest guidance for smart card authentication

Management of your printer is typically done through a web browser accessing the device. Basically, the printer is running a website that manages the configuration. If an attacker can gain access to the printer’s “website,” access to network data and other devices is possible. I’m sure there are exceptions, but I have yet to see a printer access that can be protected with MFA. Some don’t even let you change the admin user ID. That means using a complex password is your only defense. I would recommend turning off the internal web access and configuring the printer manually through the control panel. Your copier is nothing more than a really fancy printer, so secure it accordingly.

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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology