Is your office multifunction printer a security risk?
With an increasing amount of data theft and security breaches affecting small and large organizations, many are taking proactive measures to mitigate risk by tightening their security measures. And that includes the security of their office multifunction print device (MFP).
As technology advances, multifunction printers have evolved into sophisticated devices with embedded web servers and the capability to connect directly to host applications and cloud-based software.
While these features are certainly advantageous to companies, the amount of sensitive information that passes through an MFP makes them prime targets for data theft.
“90% of companies have experienced a security breach in the last year from hardcopy documents alone.” - Fortune
Fortunately, there are solutions for securing your documents.
Green Office Partner is the trusted managed print services provider for clients across the country. We are committed to creating a secure environment for each of our clients, protecting your MFPs from any and all cyber threats.
In this article, we’ll review four best practices for keeping your device fleet safe from data breaches.
1. Secure the MFP
One of the most effective ways to secure the MFP is to manage user access via passwords and swipe cards.
As an additional precaution, you could even take advantage of follow-me or pull printing practices, which prevent unwanted eyes from perusing confidential data in the output tray. Doing so creates an audit trail for how documents have been distributed and protected.
If information ever falls into the wrong hands, you’ll be able to trace the print back to exactly who authorized the print. Tracking this information adds an important layer of accountability to your organization.
2. Secure Mobile Printing
With mobile devices playing such a prominent role in today's workplace, many employees want the capability of printing from mobile devices. And especially since the pandemic and the rise of hybrid workplaces, the demand for flexible mobile printing options has never been greater than it is in modern offices.
However, considering the increased security risk that this can create, it's important to incorporate user authentication measures and offer varying levels of access to specific employees.
Despite the popularity of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, organizations need to make intelligent decisions about who can access their MFP. Scale your security protocols alongside your growing technology fleet.
3. Secure the Hard Drive
Each MFP has an internal storage device that may contain highly sensitive data that has been copied, scanned, or printed.
Data theft from the hard drive in many ways.
First, companies should protect their MFPs from physical theft of the hard drive and add precautions that prevent the removal of the hard drive from unauthorized users.
Second, companies need to protect MFPs from malicious characters virtually accessing confidential documents and data stored on the hard drive.
Taking advantage of encryption features can help protect this data in the event of physical or cyber theft. Other important features to have on your MFP include automatic disk wiping and log wiping to dispose of sensitive data.
For those replacing an MFP with a new one, it’s also critical that the information on the existing device be thoroughly removed or destroyed to prevent extraction once the MFP has left your facility. Just as you shred your sensitive paper documents, you should dispose of digital information with the same level of care.
4. Secure the Network
MFPs have essentially become computers with a printer engine. This makes them vulnerable to hacking, viruses, and other security breaches just like your networked computer.
For this reason, it's critical that you secure your MFP like any other network-enabled appliance.
All MFPs should be placed behind a firewall, and SSL encryption should be used for the web interface. This is also why some MFPs now come with recognized security software like MacAfee to minimize risk.
In order to effectively secure documents at the MFP, it's also important to educate your users about your compliance practices to help ensure the security of your network.
Green Office Partner and Document Security
Risk mitigation and security protection are fast becoming a top priority for business leaders across every industry.
Securit breaches can be catastrophic for any business, costing your organization countless dollars and hours to remediate the issues that arise.
An ounce of prevention is undoubtedly worth a pound of cure!
For more information and best practices that will protect your sensitive documents at the MFP, ask a Green Office Partner representative about their solutions, now working for hundreds of clients throughout the United States.