Protecting data on copiers

Recent news reports on copier security have brought to the forefront how information stored on a copier's hard drive may be accessible to would-be identity thieves and others. While this vulnerability is eye-opening to many, this concern has been important to manufacturers for quite some time. Just as you would install a virus scan on your laptop or PC, you need data safeguards for multifunction printers (MFPs).

What features and tools will help to protect the information flowing through MFPs? IT administrators and users should work with their vendor to make sure their security features are enabled – for example, Image Overwrite electronically “shreds” information stored on the hard disk(s) of MFPs as part of routine job processing. Network authentication and authorization allows admins to restrict access by verifying network usernames and passwords in network directories prior to use. Encryption is also built into many MFPs to make sure data stored within a device is protected. MFPs even have features that protect information from hard copy theft. With secure print, jobs are safely stored at the MFP until the owner enters a personal number to release them.

When purchasing a new MFP, choose a vendor that offers options for removal of the hard drive before the MFP is disposed of or turned in after a lease. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that with new threats developing on a daily basis, there will always be a need to update the software that runs your copiers. Responsible MFP manufacturers make new patches available for their customers to easily download, through a website or even RSS feed, so machines can easily be updated with the latest protection.

MFPs are valuable tools that streamline business processes and share information. By taking advantage of the available options, users can reap these benefits while IT administrators ensure their company's information is secure.

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