The TDSIT Blog

Why Your MFP Should be Included in Your Security Strategy

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 @ 11:05 AM

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Your multifunction printer is the office workhorse, able to print, scan, fax, upload to the cloud, and perform other important functions. However, with the amount of data it processes each day, it is also a prime target for hackers seeking to steal your information. Unfortunately, many businesses overlook their MFPs when developing a security strategy, leaving their company at risk.

Cyber Crimes

cybercrimeWith digital data becoming more common, cyber crimes are on the rise. In these attacks, your data is compromised or stolen, and may be sold on the dark web for profit or ransomed back to your company. Credit card information, social security numbers, and other personal data are very valuable - every business has data worth stealing. As the technology changes, so too do the threats to your data.

Security Strategy

If your data is breached, you could be looking at millions of dollars’ worth of damages so you need to be proactive and protect your company. This can take the form of antivirus software and firewalls, to guard against attacks. You should also have a recovery and backup process in place. Employees should be trained in common security threats, such as phishing emails, and understand how to recognize and respond to these events.

Because your network is only as secure as your least secure device, you need to make sure your security strategy is fully comprehensive. This means that every device, from tablets to printers, that connects to your network has security tools in place.

MFP Security

The MFP is a unique device because it interacts with so many other devices on your network and processes information both within and outside of your internal network. Hackers target these devices knowing they are often inadequately protected. Look to authentication and encryption techniques in addition to antivirus software to help protect your data and your network.

You cannot secure your business from cyber threats if you do not secure your multifunction printer. With the amount of data it handles on a daily basis, your MFP should be a priority when you develop a security strategy for your company.

How secure is your print environment? Contact a TDS IT representative today and learn how to keep your company data protected. 

 

Tags: MFPs, multifunction print devices, digital copier and printer security, TDSIT, Small Medium business

Do You Know About the Many Benefits of MPS?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, May 29, 2018 @ 01:34 PM

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The primary benefit of outsourcing your print environment to a Managed Print Services provider is the immediate cost savings you can realize. A recent Gartner report found that Managed Print Services can provide almost immediate savings of up to 30% on print related expenses. InfoTrend puts immediate savings at closer to 41% for paper intensive industries like Legal and Healthcare.

While reduced costs are important, there are several other benefits you'll receive when you outsource your print environment to a Managed Print Services provider, that may not be as apparent. Here are the top three!

  1. Managed Print Services Increases Productivity - Most small and medium sized companies typically don't have the resources or manpower to devote to print management. Unfortunately, the task typically falls to an untrained staff member. When problems arise, they can escalate, shutting down your operation and impacting productivity. Not only is this frustrating to your staff, lowering morale, it can often take longer to fix and cost you more money in the process. An MPS provider can remove the print management burden from your staff, freeing their time for core initiatives like increasing billable hours. MPS provides regular preventative maintenance. This means improved print efficiencies, higher productivity and virtually eliminating downtime.
  2. Consolidate Print Related Spending - MPS allows you to take control of your print spending including consumables like toner and paper. Individual ordering by department can be costing you volume discounts. Consolidation also provides immediate cost savings and budget predictability. By tracking and monitoring individual device usage, you can better plan for future technology upgrades.
  3. Improve Your Company's Environmental Footprint - We should all be seeking to lower our personal and business impact on the environment. MPS can help you towards sustainability by right-sizing your print environment, routing your print jobs to the most efficient devices, lowering paper and toner use and reducing your energy consumption. Recycling programs can reduce waste significantly!

While long-term cost savings are an obvious and excellent benefit of Managed Print Services, outsourcing your print management to a qualified Managed Print Services provider can increase your team's productivity, reduce printer downtime, improve workflows by eliminating bottlenecks, offer you budget predictability and help save the environment!

Are you ready to talk MPS? Give our team of experienced specialists a call for a free no-obligation print assessment and start your savings today!

Print Assessment

Tags: managed print services, TDSIT, Small Medium business

How to Tackle Spring Cleaning for Your Office

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, May 18, 2018 @ 11:02 AM

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Considering that spring is the season of rejuvenation and fresh starts, many of us are motivated to take care of some much needed spring cleaning. However, as you create your "to do" list, don't forget about your office! 

Here are spring cleaning best practices for your office you can implement today:

  1. Divide your workspace into zones. Your office serves your needs in many capacities, from filing paperwork to tackling in-depth projects. When you take on too many tasks at once, it's easy for your office to look like a disaster zone. Eliminate the calamity by dividing your workspace into zones. For example, designate a library area for all of your resources and a storage area for all of your supplies. When everything in your office has a place, you'll create a sense of order and prevent clutter from accumulating. 
  1. Minimize paper. Paper can quickly pile up on your desk. If you can find a way to minimize your need for paper, keeping your office in order will be much more manageable. Scan documents to store them electronically to the cloud so that you can access them securely from any location at any time. 
  1. Clean out your inbox. Research reveals that the average office employee receives 121 emails each day. As a result, checking your email can be time consuming. Add some order to your inbox by grouping conversations and creating folders.  This will make it easier for you to retrieve emails when you need them. Encourage your contacts to use other forms of communication to reach you by including a link to a messenger app in your email signature. 
  1. Designate a drawer for short-term items. At the start of each month, consider all of the items that you'll need over the next few weeks. Your list could include specific documents, invitations, event paraphernalia, and more. Designating a drawer in your office to store these short-term items will make it easy for you to find these items when you need it. Be sure to refresh your drawer at the start of each month to keep your items organized. 

Spring cleaning your office doesn't have to be an overwhelming project. Start small by de-cluttering one or two areas at a time. The satisfaction that you'll feel after organizing these initial areas in your office will give you the motivation to continue on with your spring cleaning.

Looking for more ways to get your office clutter under control? Talk to us about our document management solutions. You'll enjoy the benefits of a more organized office, reduced need for storage, ease of collaboration and increased security!

Print Assessment

 

Tags: TDSIT, Small Medium business, Digitization

Should You Outsource Your IT or Hire In-House?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Mon, Apr 30, 2018 @ 02:11 PM

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No matter how big or small your business, chances are you rely on technology to do your work. Unfortunately, supporting that technology is never easy. Most small and medium-sized businesses recognize the importance of IT support, but are unsure whether to hire, or outsource. Let's take a look at each option to help you decide which is right for you.

In-House IT

Hiring a dedicated IT person can be pretty appealing. When you have an in-house person you get:

  • Availability – An on staff IT person is dedicated to keeping your business running. They're always available to address issues when they arise.
  • Immediate Response – They can respond quickly. That means less downtime and increased productivity.
  • Specialization – Over time, your team will learn the specific needs of your business. This knowledge will maximize their efficiency, and allow them to focus on tasks that are aligned with your company objectives.

On the downside, it takes time to find the right people and for them to become familiar with your operation. Along with paying salary and benefits, you'll need to equip them with the tools they need to do the job. While you will own the assets, there may be a significant upfront capital investment.

Managed IT Services

Outsourcing IT is an alternative that works well for many businesses. Managed IT professionals provide a number of benefits including:

  • Expertise – One of the major benefits is leveraging their knowledge and experience. Unlike an in-house IT person, a Managed IT Services provider has worked with a variety of different businesses giving them broad knowledge that can help them customize a plan to meet your needs.
  • Cost Savings – Often a Managed IT provider is less expensive than hiring and building a team. Most work on a fixed monthly rate, making budgeting easier.
  • Tools – A Managed IT provider has the tools to do the job. This can include hardware, software and more. Plus it's all been evaluated so you know it works!

A Managed IT Services provider offers knowledge and support at an affordable rate. If you'd like to learn more about Managed IT Services, give us a call and we'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

 

Tags: TDSIT, Managed IT Services

Creating the Paperless Office

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Apr 10, 2018 @ 10:27 AM

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Back in the 90s we were promised the paperless office. Fast forward to today and we're surrounded by paper. But it really doesn't have to be this way. Digital documents can reduce paper use, are easier to store and send, are searchable, and more versatile than paper.

Some Benefits of Going Paperless

Going paperless is beneficial not only for the environment, but for your productivity and bottom line. For example, going paperless can:

  • Reduce clutter
  • Provide faster document access
  • Simplify disaster recovery
  • Is environmentally friendly
  • Can speed up the approval process
  • Facilitate faster communication

These are just a few of the benefits going paperless can give your business.

Taking Your Office Paperless

A paperless office won't happen overnight, but taking your office paperless starts by making small changes for reducing paper use. Consider:

  • Analyzing your current print output. Take stock of your current state try tracking your print-related expenses including printers, toner, paper, repairs, storage, and tech support. 
  • Move applications to the cloud. For example, use Google docs to collaborate, Dropbox to share files, and PayPal to transfer funds.
  • Scan paperwork and sign documents digitally whenever possible.
  • Update Technology. Multifunction printers allow you to scan and send documents and faxes electronically eliminating the need for paper.

Are you ready to make the transition? Give us a call and we'll show you how implementing a digital document system can reduce consumables use, improve security, and lower costs.

green printing 

 

 

Tags: TDSIT, paper to digital, paperless office

4 Tips to Reduce Print Spending

Posted by Tim Stanley on Mon, Mar 26, 2018 @ 10:42 AM

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Print expenses can make up a significant part of your budget, eating away at your bottom line. You have to account for the cost of your printers and their upkeep, as well as paper and toner and energy usage to understand the full scope of what your printers are costing you. Fortunately, there are some easy ways you can reduce print costs and get your print budget under control.

  1. Replace old printers. Just because your old printer still works doesn’t mean it’s working for your business. Older devices tend to use more energy and break down more frequently. Fixing them can also be more expensive as manufacturers retire older models to make room for the newer technology. Though upgrading can be a significant investment, it can pay for itself with increased productivity and efficiency, less maintenance and lower energy costs.
  1. Streamline print supply purchases. Ad-hoc supply purchasing can be hurting your budget. Many companies that do this find themselves in a “feast or famine” situation where they either have too many supplies or run out completely – with both situations costing your business. Not having supplies on hand can mean printer downtime where your employees can’t get their work done, but having too many may mean having to find the storage space and risking supply waste. Identify a single point person to manage print supply ordering, rather than letting each department do it themselves. This will allow you to best use your resources and take advantage of volume discounts.
  1. Go paperless. Much of what you print in a day ends up in the recycling bin – so stop printing it! By automating document workflows and changing your document management protocols, you can greatly reduce the amount of printing you do in a day, which in turn reduces your costs.
  1. Identify problem areas. Most printer troubles will recur, causing frustration and lost productivity. Try to identify the problem areas in your print environment and work to find solutions to them so you can spend less time troubleshooting your printer.

Print can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to blow your budget. By using these money-saving tips you can reign in your print costs and enjoy greater productivity and efficiency. Contact us for more ideas!

cut print costs

 

Tags: managed print services, save money on print, TDSIT

How Managed Print Services Reduces Costs and Helps Your School District to Run More Efficiently

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Mar 08, 2018 @ 02:46 PM

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Printing plays a critical role in the education space, so it's important that school districts have reliable printing infrastructures that they can count on. A challenge that schools are faced with is keeping up with advancements in print technology while working within a limited budget. Managed Print Services can help school districts realize the benefits of the latest print technology while also staying within their set budget. 

Here is how a partnership with Managed Print Services can benefit your school district:

Make you aware of your actual printing costs, volumes and behaviors.

Few school districts are aware of what they're actually paying in printing costs. If the cost of printing is not carefully managed, it can create a major stress on your budget. 

A Managed Print Services partner will begin the relationship by conducting a print assessment to determine what your school district's actual printing costs, volumes, and behaviors are. This fact-based report will identify ways to optimize your print environment and can save your school district as much as 30 percent in print-related costs. 

Eliminates the need to use multiple vendors for print supplies and maintenance. 

When taking an audit of a school district's print environment, it's not unusual to find a variety of printer makes and models. Often, these printers are serviced by different vendors, making maintenance a headache to schedule. Also, budget-conscious schools have a tendency to utilize inexpensive desktop printers. While desktop printers offer a cost-effective solution upfront, the cost of supplies to maintain these devices can be astronomical.

Your Managed Print Services partner can serve as your one-stop shop for handling the maintenance of your printers and the purchase of supplies to keep devices in operation and control printing costs. 

Minimizes printer downtime.

When printers are out of order, it slows down the productivity of your staff. Partnering with Managed Print Services will ensure that your printers are proactively maintained to minimize downtime and employee frustration.

Allows you to utilize the latest print technology.

Many school districts are relying on out-of-date print technology as they want to stay within budget. In reality, a Managed Print Services provider can allow your school to realize the benefits of the latest print technology without blowing your budget.

Contact us to learn more how Managed Print Services can reduce costs, minimize waste, and help your print environment to run more efficiently. 

Print Assessment

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: managed print services, TDSIT, education

Printer Vulnerabilities and Security Techniques to Keep You Safe

Posted by Tim Stanley on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 @ 02:46 PM

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Cybercrimes are no joke – they cost businesses over $7.7 million last year. As more companies are victimized, businesses are looking for ways to secure their computers to shield against an attack, but many overlook another major point of entry for hackers: the printer.

Printer Vulnerabilities

Printers deal with a large amount of sensitive data every day, but are often not properly secured. This is why up to 60% of cyberattacks involve printers. Printers are vulnerable from a variety of angles, including:

  • Firmware hacks
  • Hard drive data
  • Mobile printing
  • Lack of encryption
  • Unclaimed print jobs on the output tray
  • Unauthorized printer usage

Because there are so many ways someone could gain access to your data via a printer, you must use a multi-pronged approach to printer security.

Security Techniques

Good security starts at the printer. Your printer should have embedded security features to help prevent attack. Security updates should be installed regularly as they are released. No settings should be able to be changed on the printer without authentication.

Printers should also automatically encrypt all data that is sent to or from the printer, as well as what is stored on its hard drive. This will prevent the data from being useful if intercepted. The printer’s hard drive should be erased periodically and destroyed prior to recycling the device.

User authentication via passcode or other means is another way to secure your printer. Combined with pull-printing to reduce unclaimed jobs on the print tray, this can help reduce your risk of a data breach. It’s important to remember if you activate mobile printing that you use encryption and authentication techniques for that as well.

A Comprehensive Strategy

Protecting your network must involve your printers, and protecting your printers must involve your network. Because it is a complex and changing field, it can be beneficial to consult with a provider that specializes in security solutions. These experts can conduct an analysis on your network and print environment to help you develop and update a comprehensive security strategy. By filling the gaps in your security, you can reduce your risk of becoming the next victim of attack.

Printers are a major vulnerability for businesses today and must be secured. With a variety of security techniques and expert help, you can have a secure print environment to protect your sensitive data. 

How secure are your printers? If you are thinking of purchasing or leasing a new printer, be sure to download our free Ultimate MFP Buyers Guide - it will help you to understand the key questions to ask potential vendors, ensuring you get the best printer for your needs.

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Tags: security, TDSIT, Managed IT Services

Revolutionize your Business with Electronic Document Management

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 @ 11:01 AM

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How much paperwork does your business handle each day? For many companies, the amount is overwhelming - leading to errors, missed deadlines and lost documents. With electronic data management and automated processes, you can get your paperwork under control, and reap the benefits of a more organized document environment.

Document Routing and Reminders

Many delays in business come when documents aren't handled appropriately and in a timely manner. Electronic document management helps alleviate this problem by automatically performing prescribed tasks and routing the document to the appropriate people. Notifications, alerts and reminders can all be sent to keep everyone on task so the project keeps flowing steadily along.

Tracking and Audits

As the document is routed to the people who need to take action on it, your document management software is tracking its every move. This means that as a manager, you can see where it is in its workflow, and makes employees more accountable for their work. When the time comes for an audit, this tracking and management makes it easy to produce the necessary data.

Error Reduction

Lost or misfiled documents can cost your business significantly. Automatic workflows and electronic management help reduce these occurrences by reducing the need for manual data entry, indexing files for keyword searching and automated data backups.

Improved Collaboration

When your documents are available 24/7, employees can get more done. Electronic document management improves the flow of your documents, while automatic notifications let everyone know what they need to be doing on the job at a given time. All this adds up to better collaboration and faster turnaround times.

Your Bottom Line

Electronic document management ultimately improves your bottom line, helping you to grow your business. By reducing the time it takes to produce reports, improving collaboration, and minimizing errors, you can enjoy greater productivity and cost reductions.

If you have a paperwork problem, electronic document management may be your solution. By restructuring the way you deal with your documents, you can realize many benefits for your business. Companies of all sizes and across industries are finding that electronic document management is revolutionizing the way they do business, and it can do the same for you.

Contact a TDS IT respresentive today and we'd be happy to discuss the benefits electronic document management can bring to your business.

green printing

 

 

Tags: document management

Xerox ConnectKey Can Stop Hackers in Their Tracks

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Dec 28, 2017 @ 10:37 AM

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It seems like every day we're hearing about a new security breach or cyberattack. It seems to be the new normal. Right behind digital document sharing on internal and external networks, your office multifunction device can be a source of increased risk and vulnerability if it's not protected. Here are three ways ConnectKey from Xerox is addressing print device vulnerability.

  1. Intrusion Prevention – A disgruntled employee breaching your network, or an external hacker are considered “intrusive attacks.” Authenticating users prevents unauthorized access to the network. Authentication can be through mobile devices, password, or card readers. ConnectKey authentication intercepts and prevents external attacks from malicious software and prevents attempts to install infected files.
  2. Device Detection – Built-in McAfee solutions constantly monitors and prevents unknown software from operating on your network and will alert you if something suspicious is detected. These warnings can alert you that someone is trying to compromise your network so you can deploy counter-measures.
  3. Document and Data Protection - The Internet is far from secure. Every piece of data passing through your network is at risk, unless it is encrypted. Xerox ConnectKey-enabled devices encrypt data before it is moved anywhere on and off your network. However, even the best encryption can’t protect documents left on the printer tray. With a ConnectKey-enabled device users can use print-on-demand features that delay printing until an authentication code is input at the device.

Data security is critical for every business. Simple practices along with technology like Xerox ConnectKey can keep your documents, data and network safe and secure.

Are you concerned about network security? Eighty-percent of security experts believe that multifunction devices should be included in your businesses security coverage. Let us show you how ConnectKey from Xerox can help you to keep your data secure!

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: xerox connectkey