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5 Signs Your Old Copier Could Be Creating Security Vulnerabilities

Old Copier Security Vulnerabilities Datamax

Many SMBs fail to recognize the copier for what it is today — just another device on the network, as susceptible to cyber attack as an email inbox or web browser.

"If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it."

I see this old, tired adage at play frequently when I visit offices and learn more about their printing environment. Whether it’s due to low volumes, reluctance to incur new costs, or just flat-out comfort factor, many businesses run their decade-plus-old copiers into the ground, much like one would an older vehicle that’s been paid for.

That old clunker can become a liability down the road, and so can your obsolete copier. An outdated multi-function device might cost you more than just increased maintenance — it could be a significant security vulnerability. Many SMBs fail to recognize the copier for what it is today — just another device on the network, as susceptible to cyber attack as an email inbox or web browser.

A recent Verizon data breach study confirmed that 43% of online attacks are now aimed at small businesses, yet only 14% prepared to defend themselves. If you’re not already, it’s time to take cyber security seriously. And copiers/printers should absolutely be a part of the security discussion.

Is the tread running low on your copier’s security capabilities?

5 Signs Your Obsolete Copiers Have Become a Security Vulnerability: 

1. Data-sensitive jobs are sitting on the print tray.

Think payroll records, bank statements, or any records that must be protected under HIPAA laws. A very basic, yet prominent information security risk comes from negligence on the part of the end user. They print a document, forget about it and it sits unclaimed on the printer tray.

User authentication is an easily set-up solution for this printer security issue. Whether it’s through department IDs, or implementing more robust print management measures like uniFLOW, authentication can eliminate that stack of print jobs on your copier.

2. The firmware isn’t updating.

Firmware is essentially the “operating system” for your copier, much like Apple’s IOS or PC’s Windows. And much like IOS, your copier’s firmware must be updated consistently to provide  security peace of mind.

Canon’s Unified Firmware Platform (UFP) allows Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE models to be updated with cutting-edge features, new functionality, and enhanced security measures on a regular basis, ensuring that each device is not only capable, but also consistently updated.

3. Print jobs are not encrypted.

As your print job travels from your computer to the device, it runs the risk of being intercepted by a hacker. Older copiers may not have the ability to support encrypted print jobs.

When using Encrypted Secured Print software, security is further enhanced by using AES 256-bit Encryption to protect the print job data while in transit across the network.

Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE devices provide both onboard and optional data protection systems to help secure the information and images stored on your device's hard drive. Natively, they compress all data into a proprietary format written to random, noncontiguous locations on the hard drive and store directory data separately. In addition, you can access a variety of standard and enhanced features to help you comply with your security policy.

4. Your hard drive’s storing years' of unsecured data.

Your old printer/copier could have years’ worth of print data just sitting on the hard drive. It could be hacked, or it could still exist when you eventually get rid of the printer.

Best practices, and often company policies, usually recommend that systems be completely erased prior to being redeployed or at the end of their usable lives. The Hard Disk Drive Format feature, which comes standard on every imageRUNNER ADVANCE device, completely overwrites all data stored on the hard disk with null data. This includes files, job logs, Address Books, and customized user mode settings.

5. You're not monitoring print activity.

Sounds simple, right?

If you've had the same copiers sitting in the corner for a long period of time, you may not have considered print management.  By monitoring both print and scan activity, you're not just mitigating elevated print costs - you're keeping a closer eye on your overall print activity.

At Datamax, we help our customers alleviate these challenges through the development of best practices that control print costs and streamline print-related processes across the entire organization. We call it print management - you can call it peace of mind.

Contemplating the high mileage of your obsolete copier? Ready to make your print environment fully capable ... and completely secure? Schedule your print assessment with Datamax to get started! 


Topics: Office Equipment Print Management Security Cybersecurity MFP Security