How to Ensure Your Copier (and its data) is Secure

In your business, people come in and out all day long. Information is at risk from your copiers, printers, and faxes constantly. Today’s copiers are capable of storing an image of every document that has ever been scanned, copied, printed, or emailed. An example of an information breach is from 2010, when Affinity Health Plan didn’t erase their copier hard drives before they were returned to the leasing companies. Therefore, exposing around 33,000 records and cost Affinity 1.2 million dollars in settlement fees. To prevent you from sharing their fate, here are some important factors of ensuring your copiers and your data stay safe.
Physical Security.
Where your copier is plays a huge part. It shouldn’t be easily accessible to just anyone who comes into your business, but only to the people you have authorized. And if the public does have easy access to your printer/copier, make sure all USB ports have been removed from the machine.
Hard Drive Protection.
Any machine that stores information: MFPs, printers, copiers, scanners, etc. should be wiped clean before disposing, selling, or returning.
User Authentication.
Your IT department should head up your copiers as they already are responsible for securing your computers and servers on your network. And consider adding user authentication to the machine, such as, usernames, passwords, PIN numbers, or proxy cards.
Monitoring and Auditing.
No one wants to think about an employee putting the company/organization at risk, but sometimes it happens. And if you have sensitive information on your copiers or printers that need to stay for privileged employees only, monitoring provides a safeguard to protect you. Auditing will allow you to go back and verify how the machine was used.
Watch the Wireless.
Printing from your smart device or from the cloud is liberating and convenient, but it can pose some risk to your company. Mobile printing should only be done with a mobile device that is not able to infect the printer with malware.
Before you purchase or lease a copier, ask your office equipment dealer what are your options about securing data on the device. Today you have devices that offer data security features, which include the encryption and overwriting of sensitive data. If you return your copier/printer to the dealer you purchased from, ask them how they will dispose of the data or how you can dispose of it yourself.