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Industry News

Let's Talk Multifunction Printers: Are They Really Secure?

16 Apr, 2014

Office Solutions dealer, Offix, understands MFPs Security, a timeless topic to revisit often and review from blogs and posts, when considering ongoing security of office equipment in today's technology age of challenges and advances. So here's their input to learn that:

Large numbers of Multi-Function Printers (MFP) have hard drives that store images of all scanned, copied, printed and e-mailed documents. Many people are unaware that, even after the plug is pulled on these machines, the hard drives in the machines continue to carry images of previous documents and are a potential threat to personal and organizational security.

A recent CBS news coverage on the topic of MFP hard drive security revealed that the MFP manufacturing industry has not been very proactive about letting people know of the potential dangers due to the lack of copier hard drive security. The news coverage may be seen here. Several manufacturers do offer security kits, but they are not a part of the standard printer package, and can often be expensive. President of Sharp Imaging Solutions, Ed McLaughlin spoke on CBS about technologies available to ensure data protection on MFPs.

Data overwrite systems and data cleaning systems are two popular programs that most mainstream brands offer to help protect against data theft from MFP hard drives. At Offix, we care about the electronic identity security of our clients, so we carry brands that offer the high standards of digital security. Ricoh, Canon, and Sharp offer data overwrite and hard drive erasing systems that fit the privacy needs of each business.

Ricoh offers MFPs with features that destroy data on hard drive if someone tries to remove the hard drive or illegally access data on it. Another line of Ricoh products offers clients the flexibility of removing the hard drive from the printer before discarding the printer, so that data can remain with the client. Yet another option is to buy the Ricoh line of MFPs that do not have hard drives that store data, but instead have Random Access Memory (RAM) that uses memory for ongoing projects only. This means that the printer will only have images from current jobs such as scanning, printing, or copying. Once the job is completed, the data will cease to exist in the printer’s memory.

Similar to Ricoh, Sharp products offer data protection packages and options specific to each line of MFP. In fact, Sharp Imaging Solutions has been offering data security kits for the last 10 years. Data encryption and overwrite has been made standard in their MX Color line of MFPs. In addition, Sharp is also offering a password lock option and an end of lease option to ensure total data security for their some of their product lines

Canon’s popular imageRUNNER line of printers offers a unique data protection kit. Because of its architecture, the vast majority of jobs processed by imageRUNNER systems result in images being written to the Image Server hard disk drive and RAM. To address this condition, Canon has developed an optional imageRUNNER Security Kit.  This kit allows security conscious customers to configure their imageRUNNER systems with the internal software necessary to randomly overwrite internal Image Server disks, which erases previous data stored during part of routine job-processing tasks.

It is important to understand the data protection needs of your organization while considering a network printer or a stand alone printer, so that when the lease on your current MFP is up, when the machine breaks down and needs replacement, or if you simple want to replace the scanner, printer, copier machine you currently have, your data can be erased from the machine’s hard drive before it leaves your premises.

About Offix
Offix has dealerships in Gainesville, Richmond and Norfolk Virginia. The award winning company has been recognized by our customers, manufactures, and industry leaders year after year. For detailed information visit http://www.offix.com

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