Frequently Asked Questions

What are network printing best practices?

Security
Attackers regularly scan KIU's network looking for devices to exploit. A network-connected printer will be found, and probed for weakness. Here are steps you can take to protect your printer from attackers.

Change Admin Password(s)
If you take a printer out of the box and plug it into the network without changes, it may still have a default "admin" password, or might have no password at all. Attackers could get into the printer and change its settings.

  • Protect your printer by setting a new admin password.
  • Different printers will use different instructions for this.
    • Most network printers have a built-in web page. Go through the built-in web page and look for security settings or password settings.
  • Don't lose your new password. Make a note of it, perhaps in your office manual, or even tape it to a note on the printer.
Disable services that you don't need
Printers can allow many different network services to support different ways of communicating with to the printer. Each allowed service will be found and tested by attackers. Attackers testing your printer could cause it to print garbage pages, or could make it run so slow that it appears broken, or cause other problems.

  • Protect your printer by turning off services that you do not need.
  • Different printers will use different instructions for this.
    • Most network printers have a built-in web page. Go through the built-in web page and look for server settings.
  • Very safe to disable:
    • Telnet - an old (pre-web) method of configuration
    • FTP - an old method of submitting print jobs
  • Optional
    • SNMP
      SNMP is used by Windows and Mac computers help the computer know the printer's status. But SNMP can also be abused by attackers. Disabling SNMP can make it harder for Windows or Mac computers to print to your printer.
Set an IP access filter on your printer
Many printers let you control which IP address is able to reach the printer. You may be able to use an IP filter to block off-campus attackers from even talking with your printer.

  • Protect your printer by setting an IP filter to restrict access.
  • Different printers will use different instructions for this.
    • Most network printers have a built-in web page. Go through the built-in web page and look for security settings, or access settings, or TCP/IP.
  • Most KIU computers use an IP address that starts with "192.168."
    • If the printer asks you to enter a CIDR range, the range is "192.168.0.0/24".

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Last Updated 8 months ago