You've got your networked buttoned up. Your firewall is in place. All laptops, desktops, and even mobile devices are up-to-date on their anti-virus protection. Heck, you've even managed to get everyone to regularly update their passwords.
As much as any business can be these days, you're secure right?
Unless you've also included all of your network-connected copiers and printers into your security plan, you've still got a gaping security hole. In two ways, you're network is vulnerable and there's confidential information on your digital copier's hard drive.
Network Connected Digital Copiers
Anything connected to a network that has a hard drive can be hacked. Actually, as hackers become more sophisticated, there doesn't even need to be a hard drive. Remember back in October when Twitter, Netflix, PayPal, and a few other sites were having issues? Those were hacks via the “Internet of Everything” devices – DVRs, Nest thermometers, anything connected to the Web.
If you're reading this thinking as a small business that hackers don't care about you, wrong again. Research shows that SMBs are viewed as low-hanging fruit and easy pickings because most SMBs don't take security seriously.
This year, 40% of small to medium sized businesses that manage their own network and use the Internet for more than email will have their network accessed by a hacker, and more than 50% won’t even know they were attacked. (Source: Gartner Group)
Hard Drives in Your Copier
Photocopiers originally used heat and light to fuse toner onto paper and it was a combination of a mechanical and chemical process. With the additional capabilities copiers have because of all of the software embedded and the ability to scan and fax documents, the printer hard drive stores copies of everything scanned, faxed, or copied until overwritten.
And companies can have their information breached if they don't understand that their – your – information leaves your company along with the copier when you buy or lease a new one. CBS news did a segment years ago about how a copier could be a goldmine for identify thieves. You can watch the segment here.
Lock It Down
Fortunately, it's a simple matter to include your digital copiers and printers in your security plan once you know they pose a risk. Here are a few tips to ensure your private and confidential information remains private and confidential information.
1. Passwords: Change the default network passwords when you add your devices to the network.
2. Encrypt the information: Encrypt software at rest – and in transit – to prevent unauthorized access.
3. Wipe the disk: Before you dispose of your copier, digitally shred the copier hard drive or otherwise wipe it clean.
4. Remove the hard drive: Of course, you can remove any chance of information falling into the hands of identity thieves by simply removing the hard drive.
5. Implement security practices: There is a lot of different security practices you could use to protect from threats both inside and outside of your company. These can range from software solutions, management platforms and even down to the printer or copier that you buy.
Your managed print services partner can help you with the last three – and advise you on other ideas to ensure that the information that passes through your digital copiers remains secure.
The copiers are behind your firewall, yes, but so many things are these days that still get hacked. Firewalls are an extremely important piece of your cyber security, don’t get me wrong, but some hackers can easily get past them. Just like West Michigan in the winter, it’s all about layers. One layer of security, like a firewall, isn’t going to keep hackers out any more than one t-shirt will keep out the cold. Adding even one of the security methods listed about will help in protecting your data and, hopefully, protect you from looking like Target a few years back.
Lasers Resource can do a security assessment on your printers and copiers and see if your company has any threats. Click below to learn more and schedule a security quick assessment.