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How Secure is your Printer?

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Does your printer sit in an office, unassuming as a potential security risk?

Most offices protect their data, whether it’s by shredding, the use of screen protectors or by training staff members. However the printer that’s happily sat in the corner of the office printing, scanning and copying sensitive data is overlooked.

With smart cards and PIN numbers used to protect an office building from intruders, other methods of entering the business may not be covered. Printer networks could become susceptible if there is failure to implement proper imaging and printer security measures.

With the threat of lost revenue, fines, litigation and tarnished brand image resulting from security problems, it’s not surprising that 50% of enterprises are increasing their security budgets.

So, how do you go about identifying potential security gaps?


Surprisingly it’s very easy to intercept print jobs as they travel over the network to a printer or MFP. For example, a quick internet search for “sniffers” will pull up numerous applications to achieve this.

Input Tray

There are several organisations that use special media to print prescriptions, cheques and other sensitive documents. Without having a secure input tray these private documents could be stolen or tampered with.

Output Tray

This is probably the most vulnerable point for data, as printed items can sit on a printer for hours or even days if not collected. Leaving potentially sensitive data susceptible to all can be dangerous as anyone who enters your office could find and misuse them.

Mobile Printing

With more and more employees working on the move, those who print may accidentally expose data, or leave printouts unsecured.

Storage Media

Did you know that multifunctional printers are capable of storing printed files to their own internal memory? If your printer is ever sent out of the office for repairs or to be disposed of, make sure that all sensitive data is removed.

Control Panel

With multifunctional printers allowing you to copy, print, scan, fax and email if you don’t have visibility and control over access you can’t prevent the risk of abuse.

Cloud Based Access

Cloud based data, especially data that’s unsecured could be accessed by anyone leaving it susceptible to tampering.

With data being so easy to access via printers, it’s important to make sure that you use protective measures to reduce the risk of any sensitive information being stolen or misused.

For printing advice or products including privacy screens, secure filing, secure digital storage, shredders and other data security check out or call 0845 890 1995.

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