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Steps to Better Business Security

Over the last few years, some of the world’s best-known brands have experienced massive security breaches. Credit card information and other private data have been stolen from retail companies, financial institutions, and countless smaller organizations. No matter the size of the business, the loss of information was significant, as was the financial loss, not to mention the public humiliation.

The reality is that today, every company is a target—including yours.

Protecting your print environment and IT infrastructure beyond standard measures, such as password protection, can be instituted relatively quickly. Moreover, you’ll provide both your customers and employees with the proof that, yes, security is critical to this organization.

Office security includes safeguarding your document imaging hardware, preventing sensitive documents from being accessed, seen and used by unauthorized individuals, and controlling access to your devices, information and network.

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Keeping up with document imaging technology can be daunting—is your IT staff up to the task?

Only 27% of people claim to be “very knowledgeable” about their company’s hardware and software systems for document printing in the office. –InfoTrends Research

With security, failure to be all-encompassing or even comprehensive enough will leave you susceptible to a breach, and breaches cost productivity, liability and reputation. So, engaging with a reliable and proactive partner becomes key. This third-party organization can help you formulate a holistic strategy around security, patch up current holes and, most importantly, find future vulnerabilities before they’re attacked.

Similar to PCs, notebooks and mobile devices that are on the network, printers and copiers can pose an enormous risk if not held to security standards. Hackers are continuously looking for any opening on the network, and the weakest link—no matter if it’s big or small—can be exploited to infiltrate the data stored on these devices, get into other critical areas of the network or take down the entire system.

Steps to Better Security

A copier-based MFP typically offers many standard security features, with the hard drive usually being the most obvious part during security discussions. Most hard drives today have some type of encryption, which uses mathematical functions to prevent people from accessing stored data. Overwriting—sometimes more than even a few times—leaves no trace of the data. And, you can create rules that automatically erase documents that have been saved on hard drives or in memory on an hourly, daily or weekly basis.

Network monitoring to and from these devices is equally as critical, so hackers can’t access information on these devices and prevent these actors from attacking the rest of the network through them, too.

Although many printers and MFPs may have these security capabilities, you should always check to see if they’re turned on and are being monitored and governed by your organization or your provider. The bottom line is that you should make certain that your company understands the complete set of security measures that a provider has to secure your hardware.

Questions to Ask

Here are several questions to get you thinking about the subject in terms of your company:

  • How many security features do you take advantage of on your printers and MFPs?
  • How many times have you seen a sensitive document sitting in an output tray for all to see?
  • What user authentication methods has your organization implemented?
  • Does any employee have the ability to access any file on your network?
  • Is anything in place besides standard IT security measures?

3 Takeaways

  1. A holistic approach to security provides the end-to-end protection your business needs
  2. If nobody in your organization truly gets security, a consultant does—and can be a major benefit
  3. Along with native features on printers and MFPs, software tools can help you be more secure

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