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

mfp_security

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

How Secure is the Print Environment in Your Office?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:24 AM

TDS securityThere was a time when office security consisted of watching the front door, locking up the valuables and monitoring employee behavior, but with advances in technology there comes a whole new series of threats.

Chances are you have a virus protection program running on your office network, but have you given any thought to copier and printer security? If not, you may be vulnerable to breaches in security that can result in personal identity theft, loss of confidential client information and corporate data that may open you up to litigation, and threaten your reputation as a business.

There are a number of devices within your office environment that may be an issue, particularly multi-function printers (MFP's), which store and share the information and images that pass through them on a daily basis. Areas of concern include:

  • Fax ports
  • Hard drives
  • Internet connections
  • Network connections
  • Scanners

How the information from these devices may be procured can vary, including:

User error. A worker may absentmindedly leave behind the hard copy of a document at the printer, and the information contained within used maliciously by another party.

Information illegally obtained from the MFP's hard drive. Hackers may access the MFP's hard drive and steal the information contained within.

What happens to your MFP at the end of your lease term? It's imperative that you ensure the hard drive is wiped clean at the end of your lease, as you don't know where, or in whose hands the machine will wind up in after it leaves your office environment.

How to Protect Yourself? 

These vulnerabilities in copier and multifunction printer security can be addressed and avoided through strict employee vigilance, and the use of one of two types of security systems:

  • Full Security. This type of system encompasses every element of your printing device, and may be included with the unit upon purchasing or leasing.
  • Single Sub System Component. Typically sold separately as an add-on to existing security features, this type of security will address individual components, such as: encryption for the hard drive, data wiping, or data overwriting.

When it comes to system security for MFPs and digital copiers the benchmark is Common Criteria Certification. This type of full system security certification can be obtained by the Original equipment Manufacturer; however it can be an expensive proposition, particularly if a company’s full equipment product line is certified. This of course would mean that all devices are carefully tested to meet the most exacting standards of security.

If you haven't already done so, addressing copier security within your office environment is a must, contributing to the safety of your personal and corporate data, and helping to protect your reputation in the business community.

Find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

Tags: MFPs, xerox connectkey, software solutions, document security, security, TDSIT

Xerox ConnectKey™:Helping to Improve Office Printing Productivity

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 @ 12:52 PM

tds connectkey

“A penny saved is a penny earned” is a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin.  Today we may not hold the penny in high regard, but business leaders will probably say the same for time – a second saved is a second earned.

Productivity is so valuable with business that the majority of tasks are increasingly measured based on the time it takes to accomplish.  Xerox understands the importance of productivity in business and has launched the ConnectKey™ series solutions specifically to help in saving time, improving quality, and increasing productivity.

ConnectKey™ is an intelligent business solution that transforms typical office equipment such as printers, scanners and copiers into sophisticated productivity tools.  The equipment series from Xerox that utilizes ConnectKey™ is like no other piece of typical office equipment.

Some of the productivity boosting features from ConnectKey™ include:

  • Control and manage printing from your desktop or laptop computer using the Universal Remote Control Panel – this means you can track your jobs and your department’s print jobs without getting up from your desk.
  • Repair and support printers remotely with an interface designed for IT and tech support staff – this greatly helps your IT support staff to address problems quickly.
  • All print devices including other brands can be managed using the Centreware print manager – no need for separate print manager packages when you can simply access one centralized print management solution.
  • Equipment is designed with simple CRU’s – “customer replaceable units” for easy maintenance and reduced service calls.  Your staff will not have to wait for the service repair person to arrive and can get back to work quickly.
  • With one unified address book all devices have the ability to store key contacts and use for email notifications and workflow routing.
  • Double sided printing and scanning is available with Scan-to-PC capabilities so no additional paper is wasted.
  • Instant notification can be enabled for users to receive an email when their particular print job is completed.

With all of the features from the Xerox ConnectKey™ your business can reduce the amount of foot traffic from printer to copier to scanner and back.  Less travel time means higher productivity for your personnel.  With the easy print management features along with streamlined workflow configurations your routine office tasks can easily move from one person to the next or one department to the next without a complicated business process software package to install.

If you are looking to save seconds, minutes, or hours out of your work day, the Xerox ConnectKey™ series is worth your time.

To find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

Tags: office solutions, MFPs, print assessment, multifunction print devices, xerox connectkey, office productivity

The Advantages of an MFP & How Your Business Can Benefit!

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 @ 11:53 AM

 MFP Benefits

Multifunction printers (MFPs) are valuable all in one business solutions that can save your company both time and money—while reducing the need for costly resources like paper, toner, extra employees and more. Today’s multifunction solutions truly do offer you complete solutions, with features that include scanning, faxing, Bluetooth connections, WiFi, advanced photo printing and other tools—all in one place. Oh yes, they are great for printing too.

The Advantages of MFPs Are Many.

If you are considering adding MFPs to your work environment, there are many positive advantages to consider. By having these versatile devices connected to your network you will see efficiency and productivity start to soar. The latest technologies have been built right in to most of today’s MFP’s, including:

Cloud technology that allows you to print at any time and from wherever you are, you can even print images and other data that has been stored on remote servers.

Advanced scanning capabilities that include double hinged scanning for larger documents like magazines, journals, posters and more.

Picture scanning that includes being able to scan multiple pictures at one time and then save them as individual files—saving tremendous amount of time at the machine.

Easy to handle user interface instead of an old fashioned complicated button methods of years gone by.

Other handy connectivity features like WiFi, USB ports and more (You can even plug a camera directly into a printer and print out a job)

Scanning. Faxing. And oh yes, Printing!

Having a multifunction printer at the hub of your business puts all the business tools your employees or co-workers need in one convenient spot. It makes scanning faster, copying easier, faxing effortless and generally reduces the burden on everyone. And while there are so many benefits to a multifunction printer, one of the biggest is how it improves the way you print.

It is vital to pick the right model to meet your company’s needs however you need to consider duty cycles, speed, quality, output cost and more. Every business is different and MFPs come in many shapes and sizes too.  Here are a few tips to take into account:

Duty cycle is how much printing you do each month in terms of actual prints the machine outputs. A smaller office might print as few as 1,500 times per month, but larger companies tend to be in the tens of thousands. What’s your duty cycle? Be sure that the printer you choose is built to handle it.

Speed speaks for itself. You’ll quickly see that most MFPs will improve the speed at which you currently print, which in turn will vastly increase your productivity. Speed is measured in amount of pages per minute that you can print.

Quality also speaks for itself. Sometimes you need good quality for color documents or client presentations, but often you can get by on lesser, more affordable quality. That means having a printer that can adjust to fit your needs is important, too.

Ultimately with all the advantages a multifunction printer can bring to your business, you will see that the overall lower Total Cost of Operation (TCO) is worth every penny.

 

To find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

 

 

Tags: MFPs, office productivity, office efficiency, all in one printer

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