Your office copy machine stores so much data

How can you protect it?

Technology is evolving at a rapid pace and because of this, we’ve had to pay careful attention to data security. Hard drives from computers store information and are most at risk for a data security breach, but did you know that your printer has the same type of risk?

Most multifunction printers (MFPs) contain hard drives that record and store data, which means whatever you have scanned or printed could still be on the hard drive. Digital information is transmitted to a printing device through a computer, over a network, by scanning, or through a telephone line. Most of the time this data is stored on a hard drive so the device can print quickly, and multitask; i.e.  perform more than one function (print/copy/ scan) at the same time.

If your company prints sensitive data, you need to institute safeguards to protect this information. The good news is that newer MFP models have now become ‘smarter’, and have security measures built in.

When you buy or lease a copier, consider doing the following:

Work with your IT staff and evaluate your options for securing the data on your printer. Most manufacturers offer data security features with their copiers, either as standard equipment, or as optional add-on kits. Typically, these features involve encryption and overwriting.

  • Encryption scrambles data using a secret code that can be read only by particular software. This means that the data can’t be retrieved even if the hard drive is removed from the machine.
  • Overwriting your data with random characters changes the values of the bits on the drive that make up a file. Overwriting the file occupied removes the file traces and the file can’t be reconstructed again.
  • Think ahead to how you will dispose of the data that accumulates on a copier over time. Check that the company providing the copier will overwrite the hard drive if requested.
  • Securely overwrite the entire hard drive at least once a month.

If you’re looking to purchase a new printer or MFP for your company, you need to find a reputable and reliable stockist. Once you have found a company, consider looking out for the following:

  • Hard drive image that overwrites with a DoD-approved three-pass algorithm
  • Hard drive data encryption with an AES encryption algorithm
  • Hard drive removal option
  • Network security support for SSL, IPsec, and SNMPv3
  • Device authentication to control, manage, and track device access
  • Secure fax
  • Secure print feature
  • Customer security alert process
  • Secure product disposition process

Generally, it is advised you work with skilled technicians rather than remove the hard drive on your own if you’re looking for ways to protect your data.

For quality MFP brands, contact Digital Document Solutions