Have you considered your printer a security threat, a potential bridge of information in and out of your organization? As IT trends towards access “outside the firewall” we need to closely consider all components that store and process information, even the seemingly mundane Multi-Function Printer.

Today’s MFP’s have hard drives that store information, memory, and processors. Many include features to enable remote users to communicate to and from the public internet via remote PC’s and mobile devices. Features like scan to email, and print from phone are great for productivity, but what vulnerabilities are exposed for malicious purposes?

It is very possible that every print job is stored in a persistent history log. Could any employee with physical access to the printer simply walk up and select re-print of the most recent payroll? What information would be gained by removing the hard drive?

Unfortunately, plugging in your new printer and “getting it to work” is only the first step. Most MFP’s offer surprisingly advanced data protection features that are overlooked, especially in small businesses where resources are limited and productivity gains overshadow security risks. Administration passwords should always be set and documented. Many MFP’s offer drive encryption, ability to secure the user, and even to secure the output tray. “Sanitization” can overwrite historical information and clear active cache’s on a regular basis. While scan to email may seem a simple and green method to send paper outside your office, other document management tools offer much more robust audit trail and accountability of the delivery and receipt of such information.

Most people know that they need to invest in physical security, network security, firewalls and data backup. Many businesses overlook the inherent risks from physical or remote access to productivity features of their most fundamentally basic technology equipment.

Contact KDS Systems today by phone at (320) 281-7033 or by email at virtualcdo@kdssys.com to learn how quickly and cost effectively your business can review, plan, and implement secure network infrastructure to protect your valuable business assets.