Are Your Copiers As Secure As You Think They Are?

July 31, 2019

Today’s digital copiers are playing a bigger role in the world of small business than simply making copies. Copiers are now “smart”, just like our mobile devices, loaded with time-saving apps. But, with great convenience also comes great responsibility to protect your business, and your users, from the inevitable security threats to network devices.

Digital copiers can now do everything from copying, printing, scanning, faxing, document routing, to emailing. The problem lies in the fact that most of them are connected to your company’s network.

That connection, while convenient, is a huge opportunity to a cybercriminal. Network copiers are often seen as the “low hanging fruit” of cybercrime because they are often the last thing on the mind of an overloaded, unsuspecting IT department.

In fact, research shows that 62% of cyber breach victims are small and mid-size businesses. Many devices, especially desktop printers, that are set-up within an organization by default have no security unless an IT support professional takes the initiative.

The reality is multifunctional printers (MFPs) are just as vulnerable as the computers throughout your office. In addition to network connectivity, many are equipped with administrative passwords and hard disk drives to optimize workloads.

All this adds up to a threat to not only the confidential information that gets stored on your MFPs, but also your network.

Here are just a few ways multifunctional devices can be exploited:

  • Phone lines attached to you MFP can be used as a gateway to your network
  • Web servers used to manage administrative settings on MFPs can also be a gateway
  • Unprotected electronic data can be interceded by malicious worms when traveling to and from your device
  • Malicious emails can be sent from your MFP with no audit trail
  • Confidential documents left on a printer tray can be picked up by someone

It is critical for IT leaders to understand the importance of including MFPs in their comprehensive network security plan. This means proactive steps to ensure security settings are enabled, such as:

  • Performing device firmware updates on a routine schedule
  • Changing the default admin passwords on your MFPs - making them strong, and changing them regularly 
  • Thoughtful installation, configuration and software patching on all devices, old and new.
  • Proactive monitoring and response to potential security threats
  • Informing MFP users on the latest security threats
  • Encrypting sensitive data
  • Overwriting your copier’s hard drive on a routine basis, or configuring it to overwrite automatically if the feature is available
  • Resisting the urge to open your device’s Web interface to the Internet
  • Training users sending confidential information how to use print-hold, or print authentication features
  • Investing in a paper shredder to destroy sensitive documents immediately

At CDS, we help businesses protect their information across all levels of their printer fleet so leaders can focus on more important things like running their business. The good news is, most security threats on the MFP level can be prevented. Talk to an expert today and ensure your devices are secure.

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About CDS

Beyond copiers and printers, CDS offers a full suite of technology solutions ranging from Managed Print Services, to Managed IT Services, and Project-Based IT Services, providing our customers a Single Source for all their business technology needs.

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