24 Jan 11

Security Issues You May Not Know About Your Photocopier

Security Issues You May Not Know About Your Photocopier

Since 2002, photocopiers have been built with hard drives installed, much like the ones you'll find in your home PC or laptop. As explained in a recent, highly publicised video reported by CBS news and John Juntunen of Digital Security highlighted the extraction of personal data from hard disks is not only a lot easier than many of us may think, but also an emerging trend throughout the world.

The hard disk units found in modern photocopiers (MFP) are no different and essentially no more secure and the theft of digital document information from discarded MFP hard disks is becoming more commonplace.

Each and every print, copy, scan and fax job that is processed by your photocopier or MFD is stored at some point on the internal hard drive, and all of this information, that we often take for granted and not realise the implications of what such information could do if fell into that hands of the wrong person, is readily available to anyone with the right know how to get to it.

Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE C2020i

Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE C2020i

Free Delivery

£1840.00 +VAT

Ricoh MPC300 Photocopier

Ricoh MPC300 Photocopier

Free Delivery

£1729.00 +VAT

Sharp MX-2310U

Sharp MX-2310U

Free Delivery

£1995.00 +VAT

If you were in the business of identity theft, you could go through any land fill site, rubbish bins, second hand equipment warehouse, pick up any photocopier you like and more than likely find a host of useful information at your fingertips as an investigation by CBS news back in April at a used photocopier warehouse proved.

Many companies and personal users are unaware of what information is still stored on these MFP's that's why Top4Office have come up with a list of ways to help you protect your information or have information removed before the machines leave the office permanently.

1. Who uses your copier (MFP)?
Knowing who uses the equipment within your business is integral to security; employees, customers, engineers, technicians. Every multifunctional device with a hard drive will store an electronic image of your data and if the data is sensitive, its needs protection. A strong password is the first step and most effective ways to protecting from an unwanted data breach, be it from a trusted source or otherwise.

2. Protect all data.
Make sure all data that comes into contact with your photocopier/MFP is always password protected with the latest available encryption software. All manufacturers have encryption packages available; seriously consider investing in such packages as the can offer a high level of protection.

3. Network Authentication & Fax Separation.
Access to the network is commonly granted to modern MFP's for faxing, scanning and printing features and as such access can be restricted by usernames and passwords prior to use of these functions. It is important that the devices are not left with factory default passwords or usernames.

4. Use Secure Print.
Secure print is a concept that allows you to take total control of your prints, setting a password for each and every printed document; these prints are only released when the password is entered at the MFP itself. This will stop unauthorised viewing/printing of these documents.

5. End of Life Protection.
Once you've bought or leased a photocopier or MFP, its good practice to ensure that your chosen solutions provider has a process to destroy any data left within the hardware. The most common options are; destroying the hard drive, or if the MFP is being returned to a supplier arrange with them to have the hard drive scrubbed and wiped.