What Exactly is Copier Data Security
There are a lot of people who are unfamiliar with the term Copier Data Security and have no idea what it refers to. However, Copier Data Security is a growing concern within the IT community as well as for businesses since the repercussions of this are very serious. So when we talk about Copier Data Security what do we mean?
Copier Data Security is refers to how secure your copier machine is. These days photocopiers are not just exclusively for making copies of documents. Their roles have become incredibly complex and the technology has advanced considerably. These days photocopiers have the ability to make copies, printing, scanning, faxing and sending documents in emails. This means that most photocopiers are now WiFi enabled. While this is incredibly convenient in terms of how businesses can use photocopiers to make prints, copies and email documents remotely with them however it also opens them up to malicious attacks.
When a device is accessible from remote locations, it means it can be accessed from anywhere in the world. With this, it opens this device up to threats. This is why a lot of companies that produce copiers are now working on the security of these copiers so that their clients who use these products are protected.
A lot of businesses use sensitive information to be copied, faxed or emailed through their copiers hence if this information was to be gained by wrong people it could be disastrous.
Copier Data Security Threats
There are a lot of things which can expose you to risk. The thing with Copier Data Security is that there are multiple ways that the security can be compromised and hence there are multiple facets to this which have to be explored and safeguarded. Here are some common Copier Data Security threats that you need to be on the lookout for.
- Output Trays
This is one of the Copier Data Security which can take place with any copier out there. This is because this is the stealing of physical copies of sensitive data. When a copy or print of some sensitive data is made the document may be left in the output tray of the copier. When this is done anyone can walk by and then take the copy which is incredibly dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
- Print Commands
When a person makes a print command on their computer to the copier especially through the internet this can be intercepted by hackers and thus steal the information hence exposing you and your company to great risk because your sensitive data might be in the wrong hands.
- Hard Drives
These days copiers store files which are printed on it especially if the files were downloaded on to the system. This means that the copier could have hundreds if not thousands of files which have sensitive information pertaining to your company. Thus if the copier is hacked then the library of files stored within the hard drive are open to anyone who gets access to the hard drive system. This could prove to be incredibly dangerous.
- Authorize for Devices
When a copier is WiFi enabled and connects with various devices and accepts their commands for printing and other functions it means that it can connect to many devices. However, if you do not have this restricted then anyone can connect their device to the copier which can prove to be dangerous. The copier should not let all devices automatically connect to it and make commands on it.
- Print Tracking
If there is no setting activated for what prints are commanded and when they are made then anyone can print anything at any time hence there should be a check on this activity.
- Unrestricted Access
You can always know who accessed data and when however this will not matter when someone who should not have the data already has it since the crime was not prevented. Hence it is very important to ensure who has access to the copying device and whether they have the clearance.
Tips on Safeguarding your Copier Data Security
Now that we know all the threats which a copier is open to we need to know how we can safeguard ourselves from these threats and ensure that we do not fall victim to information theft. A lot of times we do not focus on how sensitive this information is and how disastrous it could be if it falls into the wrong hands.
However there are a lot of ways you can protect yourself from Copier Data Security threats. Below are some ways you can protect yourself from the above mentioned Copier Data Security threats. If you implement these suggestions into your daily routine especially at work, down the road it can save you from a lot of grief.
- Physical Security
The first thing you need to look at is where the copier is located physically. The physical location of your copier is just as important if not more than the virtual accessibility of your copier. The copier should be in a space where only authorized personnel can access it. Make sure it is not near the doors or somewhere where casual visitors can come and have access to the copier or its output tray. It might be even a good idea to have a camera in the copier room so the activity within the room can be monitored and it can always be known who has used the copier and at what time. Then you also have to look at the USB ports for your copier. Can anyone come and insert a USB into it? This should not be the case since this way someone can infect it with a virus or install spyware on it; the potential for harm is too great. Hence it is a good idea to restrict the USB port and ensure that it can only be used by authorized people.
- Hard Drive
The hard drive to your copier can store thousands of sensitive documents so you need to make sure the hard drive is secure at all times both physically and virtually. The people who can access the copier’s hard drive should be incredibly limited and should be authorized for it. Ideally only the required people from the IT department should have access to the copier’s hard drive. When the copier leaves the office or work place for whatever reason, the hard drive should be wiped of all sensitive data. This fact should be double checked and make sure the data is wiped properly so it cannot be retrieved again.
- User Authorization
The people who should have access to your copier should be limited to those working in the company. The way to make sure only they use the copier is by setting a password, PIN code or an authentication technique which seems fit. This will limit the amount of people who can use the copier.
Auditing is incredibly important in every aspect of a company. And it is equally as important in the role of a copier. A copier can be audited as well. The copies being made and the prints being taken from the machine can be tracked back to the person who has made them hence it is a good idea to make sure you regularly audit your copier.
Much like sensitive emails need to be encrypted the information being sent to the copier should also be encrypted as well as the information being received from it. Encryption basically when information gets scrambled into an unreadable form. So when the data is intercepted it cannot be read or deciphered unless the encryption key is present. Thus make sure encryption is present.
- Wireless Commands
Make sure that not every device can have the ability to make prints through wireless printing to your device or carry out other functions. Only authorized devices should be able to do this. And the devices which are approved and connected to the printer should be routinely checked as well for malware and viruses so that they do not transfer these to the copier as well.
Copier Data Security is a growing risk these days as more and more functions are beginning to be carried out by copiers. Hence, it is imperative that companies start to think about their Copier Data Security since it is a very important aspect which cannot be ignored.
As we rely more and more on technology, we should also focus on the security aspect of this technology. If we do not look at the security implications and concerns of these, it could cost us greatly. Hence it is always advised to keep your security top notch. Make sure your IT department is always on top of your cyber security in all aspects. Since most businesses do their work online now, we need to ensure this data is secure at all times since compromising on online security could prove to be very dangerous.