Best Practices for Securing a Wireless Printer from Being Hacked

Best Practices for Securing a Wireless Printer from Being Hacked

Wireless printers have become a common tool in modern offices as they provide a convenient and time-saving way to print documents and images wirelessly. However, these printers are also a potential security risk if they are not properly secured

Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in unsecured wireless printers and other network devices and gain unauthorised access to sensitive data, cause damage to devices, and even launch cyber-attacks on networks. As a result, it’s essential to implement these best practices for securing a wireless printer from being hacked.

Change Default Login Credentials

One of the first steps in securing a wireless printer is to change the default login credentials. Most wireless printers come with default login credentials that are easily accessible to hackers. 

By creating unique, strong passwords and usernames, the administrator can restrict access to authorised personnel only. It’s also essential to change the login credentials regularly to prevent unauthorised access.

Install Security Patches and Updates

Wireless printers, like any other software or device, may have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. Manufacturers often release security patches and updates to address these vulnerabilities. 

Regularly checking for and installing these updates is crucial to secure a wireless printer. The administrator should ensure that the printer firmware and software are up to date and that any known vulnerabilities have been patched.

Secure Wireless Network

Wireless printers rely on the network to communicate with devices, and an unsecured network can compromise the security of the printer. Securing the wireless network is a crucial step in protecting the printer from being hacked. 

Enabling encryption, using strong passwords, and hiding the network name (SSID) are important measures to secure the wireless network. Additionally, the network should be set up to allow only authorised devices to connect, preventing hackers from gaining access to the printer through an unauthorised device.

Restrict Access

The administrator can create user accounts with varying levels of access to restrict who can access the printer and what they can do. This can be particularly useful in preventing unauthorised personnel from accessing the printer and compromising its security.

Use a Firewall

Firewalls are an essential component of any network security system. A firewall can prevent unauthorised access to the printer and prevent malware from infecting it. The administrator should ensure that the printer is behind a firewall and that the firewall is configured to allow only authorised traffic to the printer. The firewall should also be set up to monitor traffic and detect and block any suspicious activity.

Enable Secure Printing

Secure printing is a feature that allows the user to send a print job to the printer, but the job is not printed until the user enters a unique PIN or password at the printer. This prevents unauthorised individuals from accessing confidential documents that may be left unattended on the printer. 

The administrator should also enable secure printing to enhance its security. Secure printing can also be set up to encrypt print jobs, further enhancing their security.

Disable Unnecessary Services

Some wireless printers come with additional services and features that may not be necessary for the user. These services can also introduce vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. 

The administrator should disable any unnecessary services and features to reduce the attack surface of the printer. This includes disabling any remote access features that are not needed, such as Telnet or SSH.

Physical Security

Physical security is often overlooked when securing a wireless printer. A printer that is accessible to unauthorised personnel can be easily compromised. 

The administrator should ensure that the printer is placed in a secure location and that only authorised personnel have access to it

Additionally, any sensitive documents left on the printer should be immediately removed and disposed of properly. It’s also crucial to protect the printer from physical damage, such as power surges or water damage.

Secure Your Wireless Printer Today

Securing a wireless printer is critical in protecting sensitive information and preventing cyber-attacks. Implementing best practices such as changing default login credentials, installing security patches and updates, securing the wireless network, restricting access, using firewalls, enabling secure printing, disabling unnecessary services, and ensuring physical security can significantly reduce the risk of a wireless printer being hacked. 

As cyber threats continue to evolve, it’s essential to stay up to date with the latest security trends and take necessary precautions to ensure the security of your wireless printer.

If you need assistance securing your wireless printer or other network devices, our team of experienced IT professionals can help. Contact GKM2 today to learn more about our services and how we can help protect your network from cyber threats.