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ISM Article

The 'IT' Issues of SecurITy - Protecting Your Network Beyond the PC

24 Oct, 2008 By: Larry Kovnat

The 'IT' Issues of SecurITy - Protecting Your Network Beyond the PC

Threats to information security are appearing more frequently and are of
greater magnitude than ever before. They can come both internally and externally
and can be online or local, accidental or malicious.

Companies like Xerox are working directly with customers to help them assess
where information exists, how it is transferred, where it is stored, and to
identify the greatest areas of risk. Since most of an organization’s secure
information resides in documents, document security is one such area. 

In terms of document security, many companies are unaware of a major threat –
the networked hardcopy peripheral.  Each time a document is copied, printed,
scanned or faxed, an image is left behind on the system’s hard drive(s) that’s
as much at risk of getting hacked as the information on their PCs.  With network
connectivity rates for these products increasing each year, this security threat
grows exponentially.    

On the flipside, healthcare, government, military, legal and financial
sectors have started to catch on.  Recently there has been an increase in
regulations surrounding privacy, such as HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley and
Gramm-Leach-Bliley, which makes document security one of the greatest challenges
and demands on IT personnel and users in the market today.

To help ensure sensitive information is kept safe, buyers can look for these
security features to effectively resist attack from intruders attempting to gain
access to the information stored within the system or to gain access to the
customer’s network:

  • Embedded Fax – Look for a product that assures complete separation of the
    fax telephone line and the network connection to prevent an “open back door”
    to the network.
  • Image Overwrite Option –electronically “shreds” information stored on the
    hard disk(s) of devices.
  • Internal Auditron – Requires and authorization code to use the
    device and enables IT limit the number of copies available for each person,
    track usage.

  • Network Authentication – Access to scan, e-mail and fax
    features can be restricted by verifying network user names and passwords in
    network directories prior to use of these functions.

  • Removable Disk Drive Accessory – Administrators can physically
    remove hard drives from the machines, virtually eliminating the risk of
    unauthorized access to classified data.

  • Secure Print – Jobs are safely stored at the device until the
    owner enters a personal number to release them. 

Be sure to look for these features when shopping for new
equipment, and keep in mind that your current equipment may have security
options of which you’re not aware, so check with your <dealer name> to learn
about what you may already have. 

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