7 Steps to a Tighter Security on Your MFP

This week we posted an article about low tech security threats. One of those security threats happens to be about safeguarding information left at copiers. It’s hard to think of your multifunctional printer (MFP) as a computer, but they essentially are just that. They have hard drives and memory which take image data and converts it into digital information. Considering all you can do with an MFP, from faxing to scanning to emailing, MFPs have come a long way from the first copiers. A large threat to security at the MFP is human error with distracted employees leaving confidential original material on the scan glass or in the feeder. However, this isn’t the only human error that can be avoided with proper security.
To keep your MFP secure, we suggest the following:
1. Centralize the auditing of network activity: When you audit, the MFP stores tracking information in a database. In case an issue arises, you can easily pinpoint which device caused the problem and who the user was.
2. Require user authentication and restrict access within user authorization: this works alongside the audit very well because it ensures everyone is accounted for and what their activity is. No one stay anonymous in their usage, preventing the abuse of the device.
3. Encrypt data to/from MFPs: Due to the MFP having a hard drive, information is cached on the inside. To prevent this from becoming an issue, all unimportant memory used to cache data on the device should have a method to delete data to secure information.
4. Implement pull printing: When you send a document to print, the MFP settings can be set to release documents at the printer. This way your documents stay for your eyes only.
5. Implement rules-based printing: This begins with your authorized user and you controlling what rights your employees have on the network with printing.
6. Enforce the use of trusted network destinations: There are business solutions that encourage security with validation processes, such as, entering phone numbers at the MFD to prevent faxing to untrusted numbers or confirming email addresses on the MFP to ensure scanned material isn’t sent to the wrong person.
7. Securing print processes: Inside of your businesses’ print policy, you may consider the physical protection of the documents too. As stated above, employees leave original documents at the MFP. To prevent that, communication may be necessary to ensure confidential information isn’t seen by the wrong eyes or snapped by a smartphone’s camera.