3 Ways Your Copier Puts Your Business at Risk
by Stephanie Faris on Monday, July 23, 2018 11:30
A quick glance at the most popular office copiers reveals one common trend: today's workplaces expect all-in-one functionality.
A copier no longer takes up valuable office real estate to serve just one function.
Instead, today's copiers handle scan-to-email, fax, printer, and copier capabilities.
Unfortunately, this new technology has snuck up on many business owners, leaving them unaware that they pose a security risk.
In fact, the very features that make multifunction printers and copiers so popular make them riskier to businesses. It's important to understand these risks in order to do what you can to protect against them.
Network-Based Security Breaches
Today's multifunction printers, scanners, and copiers must be connected to the network for their functions to work. You'll need network connectivity to send a document straight to email or a computer within your network, for instance. Unfortunately, being connected to the network makes any piece of equipment vulnerable to hackers. Just as they can get into a computer or server and access the files that reside on its hard drive, they can also access a copier's hard drive. To keep your copiers safe, discuss malware protection with your copier's supplier and take measures at the server level to keep outside traffic from getting in. Also, make sure your network is being monitored for signs of attack.
Lack of Physical Security
The biggest danger is nothing new. Employees can easily leave documents in the feeder or on the bed itself, which means anyone could gain access. Some printers even allow you to print the last job with a tap on the menu screen. It's important to lock down access to your copiers and multifunction printers, first by requiring workers to enter a code before using the device. But this won't protect against physical file infiltration, so you should also make sure your printers and copiers are in secured areas that only authorized personnel can access. Stress to workers the importance of retrieving documents as soon as they print them. Although they will make mistakes occasionally, this will at least make employees aware of the security risk copiers pose.
One risk many businesses don't consider comes when it's time to offload old devices. Often in a hurry to get rid of old equipment, businesses will skip the important step of safeguarding the hard drives inside those items. The printers and copiers used to run your business over the past few years could still contain files with sensitive data. It's important to properly dispose of those drives to avoid the data on them from being compromised. Even if a business is donating the copier to a trusted organization, there's no way to guarantee that it will be protected from hackers at the new location.
National Computer Warehouse Services offers a two-phase hard drive destruction service that involves first degaussing the data that resides on it. The second step shreds the drive, then safely disposes of it to avoid any risk. With our mobile shredders, we can come to your location and perform data destruction services on site, disposing of any equipment to your own specifications in the process.