The TDSIT Blog

Why Your MFP Should be Included in Your Security Strategy

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 @ 12:05 PM


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

Ignoring Printer Security Can Cost You!

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 @ 10:29 AM


In today's increasingly connected world, it seems that were hearing another data breach almost daily. Every business needs to put security first, and few realize that means any device on your network from smartphones to tablets including your networked printers.  

If your printer isn't subject to the same level of protection as your office computers, you are at risk. A recent study revealed that while 85% of companies surveyed indicate security is important, only 59% of those companies felt that printer security was important! This is a major disconnect and the reason why office printers are often a gateway into a network for a determined hacker. 

The Numbers Don't Lie!

In fact, the same study found that 53% of IT managers say their printers are vulnerable to cybercrime, 64% of printers are likely infected with malware and 39% have low confidence in their ability to secure print resources. 

A security breach is no joke. On average it takes 277 hours to remedy a breach and the average hard cost to recover is half a million dollars. That means lost revenues, lost time and quite possibly lost clients. 

Security solutions are well worth the expense. A secure printer has six times fewer security breaches then an unprotected one. A good comprehensive security system and protocol can reduce the number of staff hours spent supporting your print environment by 50%.

Six Steps to a Secure Networked Printer

Securing your networked printer takes six steps. They are: 

  1. Encrypt - All data flowing to the printer’s hard drive should be encrypted.
  2. Erase - Periodically erase all documents from the printer hard drive.
  3. Authenticate - Use a password or PIN to monitor users and limit access.
  4. Control - Put measures such as pull printing in place; a PIN is used by an authorized user to print a document at the printer, reducing unclaimed jobs.
  5. Update - Keep firmware and security software current, updated, and confirmed as legitimate.
  6. Manage - Use software to manage devices and ensure compliance to all security protocols.

Security is a necessity in today's connected world. Keep your printer security at the same level of protection as any other networked device. Want to learn more? Contact us today and let us show you how we can help keep your network safe!


Tags: digital copier and printer security

Digital Copier Security: What You Need to Know

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, May 02, 2012 @ 08:56 AM

Digital Copier Security: What You Need to Know

With the constant and ever increasing demands on your time and attention, it is easy for the security of your digital copiers and Multifunction Printers (MFPs) to be far from top of mind. But it is of vital importance to address the security of your printing and imaging environment. The risk potential that could cause problems for your business and its employees – from identity theft, to potential litigation, to the loss of professional credibility – is too great to be ignored.

A study from Columbia University indicates that printers are vulnerable to security threats that could result in the theft of personal or corporate data that should be secure. A number of systems within your office environment that perform multiple functions cause the information used and shared during the daily activities of your business to be exposed to threats, both internally and externally. Common areas of MFP vulnerability include:

  • Scanners
  • Fax Ports
  • Hard Drives
  • Internet & Network connections

The possibility that information can be intercepted is only one potential risk. Other risk factors include hard copies of information left on the printer or copier getting into the wrong hands, or someone gaining confidential information from the copier’s hard drive and using it for illegal purposes. The hard drive on your digital copier or MFP stores the images and as such, the information contained on the documents that are printed or copied. This results in the risk that sensitive and confidential corporate and/or personnel information can be accessed or compromised.

Check out this video from CBS Evening News that offers an eye-opening explanation of how simple it is for data to be accessed from discarded equipment: Copy Machines, a Security Risk? CBS News Video.

How to Protect Your Information

The good news is that there are steps that can be taken to help protect your information from getting into the wrong hands and causing a negative or even fatal impact on your business.

There are currently 2 different methods available in today’s market designed to protect MFPs:

  • Single Sub System Component Security: Individual system components are secured; such as hard drive encryption, data overwrite or data wipe technology. These are usually sold as additional options for the system.
  • Full System Security: This offers protection for all elements of the device and is usually sold with the system and not as an option.

Some companies have received Common Criteria Certification for their systems and their security protection. To obtain certification, companies undertake a costly process to have their devices tested to meet stringent security standards. You can find out more by visiting the Common Criteria Certification portal.

How have you addressed digital copier and printer security at your business? Are you concerned about device security? Please leave your comments; we would love to hear what you have to say.

Tags: MFPs, digital copier and printer security, multifunction print devoces, copier security, printer hard drive