Printers, copiers and fax machines– often referred to as multi-functional devices (MFD) – are an essential piece of business hardware. However, they can also represent a security risk.
Data breaches are, unfortunately, a common occurrence, making it essential that you take strategic steps to keep them secure.
What security threats do MFDs and printer copiers present?
There are two security issues to be mindful of: physical and network security threats.
What are physical security threats?
By necessity, MFDs and printers are usually placed in easy to access areas. While this allows for worker convenience it also makes them vulnerable to unauthorised access.
Add in the element of multiple users and it becomes obvious that steps need to be put into place to retain confidentiality.
What are network security threats?
This encompasses multiple aspects, with the most vital being that any data stored within the hard drive of a device needs to be adequately protected against unauthorised access.
Not only could this information be compromised, but if a virus or phishing attack is launched then an unprotected MDF could be the weakness that allows a cyber-attack to be successful.
Any information sent to the device for printing has the potential to be intercepted, so needs to be secure.
Companies of all sizes have a legal responsibility to secure data. Depending on the nature of the business this can range from employee records and customers’ personal details, through to information of the highest level of sensitivity.
How can I successfully secure an MDF?
The following steps ensure that your printer, copier, and MFD options don’t become the weak link in your company confidentiality measures.
1. Ensure the highest level of printer encryption
This prevents jobs from being intercepted when sent to the printer. The tasks are converted into a complex code to ensure that hackers are unable to retrieve sensitive information
2. Use an authorisation system
This should cover user authentication, page limit control, password management and more. This has a dual role in preventing unauthorised access and stopping any malicious files being sent to the device.
3. Change passwords on setup
MFDs and printers come with default passwords. Change these immediately when the device is setup.
4. Physically watch over printers
Forgotten documents left lying on unattended printers are one of the most common causes of data leakage. Keep printers in an area where they are in full view and provide strict guidelines to all staff regarding the importance of picking up the printed matter as soon as it’s requested.
5. Perform regular software updates
Keeping all the firmware of an MFD or printer up to date means that necessary security patches are in place. This should be carried out on the MFD itself and the printer drivers.
6. Disable any unused functions
MFDs have a lot of features but it’s unlikely your organisation will need all of them. Each of these has various processes that need to run, meaning more potential entry portals for hackers.
Disabling the functions that aren’t required creates a more secure printer, with the added bonus of it working faster.
Why is it important to choose the most secure printer available?
Carefully choosing a device is by far the most effective method of securing printing data.
Threats evolve constantly, and only by using the most secure option can a company ensure solid data protection and adhere to its legal responsibilities.
The leader in this field of digital technology is Sharp, and they were the first MFD manufacturer to address the security issue for such devices.
Sharp's range of products all come with:
- Full access control security
- Encrypted data and SSL/TLS transmissions
- Fax security
- Document, email, scanning and printing security as standard
- Detailed audit trail security
The importance of trusted security for your printer, copier and MFD can’t be overstated, and companies are best protected by using hardware that guarantees the very latest in proven security elements.
Contact Advanced Document Solutions for all your printing and MFD needs
Perth-based Advanced Document Solutions have been providing cutting-edge office technology for over 25 years.
To discuss your requirements call 08 9443 5557 or visit advanceddocumentsolutions.com.au to find out more.
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