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Data Security for MFP’s, Faxes, Duplicators & Printers

Unquestionably the age of technology has vastly changed the way businesses operate with increased speed of communication, document production and replication. Similarly, security issues have grown well beyond the need to throw away a carbon copy. In fact, successful offices today are alert and attuned to security issues throughout their businesses and have detailed security protocols in place. Documents are shredded to prevent Dumpster Diving. Firewalls are installed to prohibit hackers. Employees are trained to refrain from opening unsolicited emails, responding to phishing emails, or transmitting sensitive information without encryption. Passwords are unique and changed regularly and even physical security has been increased with limited access to buildings, file cabinets, and networks. With all of these measures in place, one would expect security to be almost unbreachable, but one important area often remains unprotected: copying and printing devices. State-of-the-art MFP’s, faxes, duplicators and printers are all potential security hazards.

When these machines improved from analog to digital operations, they became much more efficient, but caused new confidentiality problems. In recent years these devices contain a hard drive that renders them a computer in disguise. Failure to recognize this fact meant no measures were taken to deal with erasing a hard drive and therefore information was subject to theft.

Measures that can be taken to minimize the risk of information theft:

  • Image overwrite systems provide for instant, scheduled, or on-demand overwrite. Effective overwriting will electronically shred data. Overwriting may affect the speed of the machine’s operation if done immediately, however a few seconds for security is well worth the time. In contrast, simply deleting the file will only mask the location but keep the data intact.
  • Encryption packages render images in decipherable. Many of these packages meet Department of Defense and Advanced Encryption Standards and are offered by all manufacturers and implemented through your vendor.
  • Settings. The proper setting of machine options can optimize security. The vendor can assist or merely review the menu on the equipment to choose the security options.
  • A security audit of MFP’s, faxes, duplicators and printers connected to the Internet or network can assure that all firewalls are in place, up to date, and effective.When this equipment is discarded, all IP and email addresses must be deleted. This can be done through the menu on the machine and the vendor can explain this process as well.
  • Hard Drive Destruction is the most effective means of assuring data security. Destruction of the hard drive, replacement with a new one and reinstallation of the operating system eliminates all data. Physically shredding the hard drive will guarantee confidentiality. This service is available through both vendors and manufacturers.

Whether your goal is to protect a business, or to comply with HIPAA, Sarbarnes-Oxley, or Gramm-Leach, EBP can help you accomplish these objectives. Begin the process when evaluating your equipment and make security part of the equipment solution. Contact us immediately for further details.