When you hear the term data breach, chances are thoughts turn to any one of the numerous examples over the last five years, of large scale breaches involving major corporations. In cases such as these, hackers obtained customer and client information, resulting in losses of upwards of one billion dollars collectively, and unmeasurable losses to the reputations of those affected.

If anything positive has come from these attacks, it’s been an increased awareness in security and vigilance among the public and private sectors, including areas that have been overlooked, such as multifunction printers (MFPs). The biggest risk factor used to be human error, where printed documents or originals were left behind after printing, but the MFPs of today have sophisticated network capabilities and components, making them vulnerable to attacks from outside, as well as inside, the confines of the firewall. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions to keep your MFP, and your data, safe.

Start at the Multifunction Printer

Effective policies and procedures can help significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized use or distribution of sensitive data. User authentication through the use of swipe cards, passwords, or other identifier ensures users are physically present at the MFP at the time of printing. Access can be further defined by levels, preventing guests or employees from utilizing certain features, or blocking them from sensitive materials.

Go Mobile

BYOD, and mobile printing are here to stay, but with convenience, comes risk. Deciding who can print, and on which devices is the biggest challenge, and user authentication techniques must be employed to ensure integrity.

Secure the Hard Drive

The internal storage device located inside your MFP is at risk during it’s useful lifetime, and long after. User authentication and disk encryption techniques can help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data, but should be in keeping with industry standards of compliance, such as Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), and Trusted Platform Module (TPM). In the event of physical theft, remote disk and log wiping, can help further safeguard information.

Protect Your Network

As an integral part of your office network, your MFP requires the same level of protection as personal computers, tablets and smartphones. Keep your MFP behind your firewall, and employ SSL encryption for the ultimate in security.

To learn more about MFP security, contact us today!