It’s strange how most of us are acutely aware of security around other technology such as the internet, tablets and smartphones but we don’t naturally have the same instinctive fears around print and copy technology.
Once you recognise that the heart (or should we say brain) of a modern photocopier or multi-function printer (MFP) is a computer, you begin to realise the importance of built-in security.
Without sophisticated encryption to protect your hard disk information, you could lay awake at night worrying about what happens to stored information when your machines are recycled. Without effective user security features, your nightmares could also feature the wrong documents going to the wrong people or simply a spiralling pit of costs for unauthorised usage.
Estimates suggest that around one in three copiers are networked; a trend that has accelerated without the full realisation that security risks have also increased. The fact that they are on a network does, of course, make them a potential security risk with the threat of being hacked because they do have an IP address and a network interface card.
Nearly every digital copier, built since 2002, contains a hard drive. Like the one in your personal computer, it stores an image of every document scanned, copied or emailed by the machine. Remove the hard drive from the copier and with the help of a forensic software programme (available for free on the internet) you could run a scan that downloads the documents.
You may be thinking ‘why do copiers and MFPs store information in the first place?’’ In itself, that’s another kind of security feature. For instance, it can enable organisations to have a record of what’s being copied, scanned or emailed, so they can do regular checks to ensure sensitive data isn’t being wrongly acquired or distributed.
Thankfully, features such as Xerox’s Image Overwrite, electronically ‘shred’ information stored on the hard disk on their machines. For MFPs with hard drives, Xerox also offers the option of removal of the hard drive before the MFP is disposed of, or turned in after a lease.
Security solutions such as PIN number and card enabled access help to control who can do what with copiers and MFPs, whilst biometric authentication adds another layer of security by ensuring that access can only be controlled by the individual. Of course a clear operational policy, especially for larger dispersed organisations, can help strike the balance between risk mitigation and productivity.
Of course, it’s easier to adopt a more security conscious mindset if you have the tools to make it simple. That’s why Xerox is helping to change behaviour by making it easy to find copier and print technology that not only meets operational and budget needs but also includes advanced security features. Visit: www.mfd-rm1599.com to see how Xerox technology can work harder for your security agenda.