While technology advancements have helped businesses grow at unprecedented rates, these developments have also opened the door to new security threats. They include malware, phishing attacks, and network vulnerabilities that penetrate a business’s technology systems and cause serious damage. Businesses risk having their employees’ or customers’ personal information compromised, credit card information stolen, username and password protected devices infiltrated, and identities impersonated.

Technology is constantly changing and is an integral part of the modern business model, so business owners must go to great lengths to protect their employees, customers, and operations from these security threats. However, one area that is often forgotten is print services.

Printers, copiers, scanners, and even fax machines are used daily in most businesses across the country. They connect to Wi-Fi networks and devices like laptops, desktops, phones, and tablets, syncing to the same system exposed to security threats.

So, let’s talk about how business owners can protect themselves with Managed Print Services (MPS).

Managed Print Services Defined

Managed Print Services is a third-party service that assesses, manages, and monitors the printing needs of a business. Even more than that, MPS can boost your security. Not only is this service able to streamline time-consuming tasks like toner or paper ordering and support employees with device service and training, but it adds a layer of protection to a business and its customers.

A Managed Print Services company views itself as a partner and their offerings are highly customizable.

Why Printers Are a Data Security Threat

Printers are a data security threat because they are often forgotten in the larger day-to-day business operations and, simply, de-prioritized as a source of a threat. More than that, though, printers are a security issue because they can communicate with so many different devices.

The majority of printers used in offices and homes today connect via a Wi-Fi or a wired network connection, one of the main ways hackers access computers.

In the modern office, there are many situations in which employees use a printer:

  • Documents with employees’ names need to be printed for Human Resources, which become part of the printing queue. The printing device accepts the job in the queue, and the document is printed.
  • A document like a contract needs to be copied and then emailed via the printer’s connection to an email account of a key team member.
  • Another document like a negotiated and signed lease needs to be scanned and uploaded to a cloud-based folder system.

In every situation above, sensitive and confidential information is shared back and forth through a company’s network. Hackers and purposefully designed destructive software can infiltrate this network if it’s not secure.

In addition, by allowing unknown users to access a device or network, things like printer configurations can be easily rerouted. On the firm´s end, it looks like a print job has simply disappeared, when in fact, it ended up with someone outside the business who can do what they please with that information they just received.

How Managed Print Services Bolsters Data Security

The main security feature built into Managed Print Services is the ability for a professional to be responsible for viewing and monitoring devices connected to a company´s printer system. Even more, this third-party setup can actually allow certain people in your business access, so they´re the only users allowed to use the printer system in the first place. New employees can be added to the system, and those who retire, resign, or are fired are removed.

Some additional security features included when a business hires a Managed Print Services company are as follows:

  • Two-factor authorization can be put in place to add a document to the print queue. This is the same level of high security to access things like Apple IDs, bank accounts, and retirement plans.
  • Printer configurations can be limited only to commands from a secure and approved business network router.
  • Data is provided to analyze who is using printers and how they are being used, thus quickly identifying rogue users and flagging suspicious habits.
  • Data storage on printer devices can be wiped in the event of a replacement.
  • Data storage, in general, can also be monitored.
  • Just like computers, printers sometimes need updates and Managed Print Services monitor and install them automatically.
  • Data encryption software can be uploaded into the printer system in the case of extreme security or confidentiality situations.

The right managed print services partner can not only help eliminate security risks posed to a modern business, but it makes employees more aware.

Through awareness and proper training, businesses can ensure employees take cybersecurity threats seriously, and a company’s IT team is also better supported. This just serves to strengthen a business’s data security practices, establishing trust not just with employees but ultimately with customers.

To find out more about how Managed Print Services can help your business, contact the expert team at Wisconsin Document Imaging today. We proudly serve customers in Green Bay, the Fox Valley, Lakeshore and Greater Milwaukee areas.