Layer Up on Your Print Security

During “World Password Day” this year, which is a yearly awareness day created by Intel in 2013 to highlight the importance of using secure passwords, the importance of layering up on your print security was highlighted. There is lots of talk about secure passwords for your devices, but did you now that your multi-function devices and printers are subject to having the same security issues as their device counterparts?

With data being an organization’s most precious commodity, passwords are often the first line of defense against hackers, so it is important that they are as strong and secure as possible. But password security is just as important for multi-function devices and printers as they are for your other hardware and devices.

On World Password Day earlier this year companies were encouraged to “Layer Up” and introduce multi-factor authentication, which is also known as two-factor authentication, across all their hardware and devices including printers and multi-device functions.

What is Multi-Factor or Two-Factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication is a way of confirming the identity of a user to a computer system only after 2 or more types of evidence or factors that they are who they say they are. Usually those factors are via something that only the user will know, something that only the user will have or something that only the user is.

By contrast, two-factor authentication is a subset of multi-factor authentication. Using this method, a user’s identity is confirmed via two varied factors, usually something only the user knows, something the user has or something the user is.

Types of Multi-Factor or Two-Factor Authentication

There are several types of multi-factor or two-factor authentication methods available to help companies become more secure against hackers including:

  • USB or Electronic Device Tokens

    Employees will carry a USB key or electronic device with them which will generate a code that must be entered every time they log in to their computer system or try to print a document.
     

  • Identification by Fingerprint

    Fingerprint scanning is fast becoming a very popular method of deploying multi-factor or two-factor identification, with apps available to manage this available on mainstream smartphones and laptops. You will need to scan your fingerprint in order to print documents.
     

  • One-Time Use Codes

    A one-time use code can be sent via text message to your smartphone or generated via an app every time you request to print a document. Although in theory only the user should have access to the phone that the code is sent to, this may not always be the case and so this method is more prone to vulnerabilities.

Why Should Companies Adopt Multi-Factor or Two-Factor Authentication?

The #LayerUp campaign on World Password Day aimed to raise awareness of the importance of introducing multi-factor or two-factor authentication as a way of combatting cyber-crime and deterring hackers across all devices.

Recent research undertaken by Gemalto showed that at least two-thirds of companies have still not adopted multi-factor or two-factor authentication. If multi-factor or two-factor authentication is used there is a much lower risk of a hacker attempting to pretend to be an employee to gain access to critical systems including printers and multi-function devices.  

Another obvious and clear benefit of introducing two-factor authentication is that productivity is likely to be increased as a result. In today’s 24/7 connected world employees are now working on multiple devices outside of the office, so multi-factor or two-factor identification can help to secure devices to allow employees to access company data, documents, apps and systems safely. This also extends to printers and multi-function devices.

Conclusion

It is all too easy to overlook the security of your print and multi-function devices, but ensuring they are password protected and have adequate security measures is crucial. To find out more about how we can help with printer and multi-function device security contact our team today.

 

Posted by ITDS

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IT Document Solutions is an innovative and exemplary provider of managed print and document solutions, providing business consultancy and service support for businesses and organisations across the UK.

We help our customers optimise their IT print and document infrastructure to enhance both their systems and environmental performance while also reducing costs, to help increase profitability, and maximising return on investment.

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