People often think of their computers, phones and tablets when they consider where their data is stored. So much of our daily work relies heavily on our ability to stay connected, and this is especially the case when it comes to running your business networks and utilizing office technology like copiers and printers. While these tools can help you work more efficiently, increase productivity and reduce business costs, they can also be a huge source of data breaches. Did you know your copier hard drive stores a ton of sensitive company information?
Just as with any connected device, copiers can pose a data security risk without the proper security measures. Copiers can store specific amounts of data on their internal hard drives, and those drives need to stay secure when connected to a network. Here are some copier and MFP security considerations every organization should know:
Copier and MFP Hard Drives
Nearly all of today’s copiers and MFPs run just like computers and mobile devices. They have systems, touchscreens and functional outputs. The hard drive in your copier stores data about the incoming and outgoing documents that it prints, faxes, copies and scans. This internal storage gives copiers the ability to process large jobs and store documents for convenience and security purposes.
Types of Printer and Network Security
Because of the sensitive nature of the information that is gleaned and stored by your copier, it is absolutely necessary that you utilize internal and external copier security precautions to protect your data.
For most businesses, it’s a good idea to implement user authentication protocols that you can use to monitor user activity through your copiers. With anonymous usage comes unauthorized external access and abuse of the copier. Without user authentication software, tracking the source of data breach can be very difficult.
Data Encryption and Overwrite
At any time, there are large amounts of data regularly being communicated through copiers. Encrypting all of the data connections to and from your copier can help protect sensitive data. Both Sharp and Canon copiers provide built-in data security tools like data overwrite and data encryption of the hard drive. For even more security, optional security accessories are available to handle manual data overwrite and more network security features. These features minimize any potential data leaks from your copier.
Key Things to Keep Your Copier Data Protected
Whether you buy a new copier or you’re leasing one, all of your employees should be trained on security best practices when it comes to using copiers. Create a documented copier policy to distribute to all employees on a regular basis, and provide that policy to all new employees when starting. Make sure to review the policy periodically with employees so they are aware of the risks.
Managed Company Access
Best practice dictates that restricting sensitive data whenever possible, both internally and externally, helps to protect from data breaches. By creating system protocols and using managed print servers, you can help to control the types of access going to your copier at all times. This ensures employees are not able to access or reprint any sensitive information that should be restricted.
Proper Removal of Copiers
When the time arrives that your business gets new equipment or you trade in your old models for new ones, it is vitally important to make certain your device is completely reformatted, and all information is completely erased. This includes both internal hardware storage and any onboard memory that can store company contact information, staff email and other user credentials. Sharp provides a standard end-of-lease feature that ensures that all data is erased before returning, or relinquishing control of the copier.
Today’s copiers are advanced computing devices that can store large amounts of company data at any time. As computers, servers and mobile devices become more secure through more stringent standards, hackers will turn to unprotected network devices such as copiers and MFPs. Make sure you are utilizing all of the available security features on your copier to create a safe business protected from security threats.
Fraser can help you with securing your copier fleet. Contact us today to learn more!