Keep an eye on your copier, it’s stealing from you

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If you’ve ever made duplicates of anything on your copier, we have news for you! So did your copier. All copiers have hard drives and any document that is copied, gets sent to that drive. Now can you figure out how your copier is a ticking time bomb, waiting to blow a hole in your fool-proof security?

You are effectively managing phishing scams, cloud-based storage, trillions of bytes of backup, viruses, network security, and other things that might breach your security. Don’t let your copier be your Achilles’ heel. Stop the information from leaking out.

The Copier? Seriously?

According to a report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, there are 6 potential risks from copying devices. They are:

Default Password

Many copying devices have default passwords that are not changed when they are bought/leased. These passwords can easily be used to gain access to the configuration panel, hard drive data, or to control the device remotely.

Data Storage

When the data is stored on a copier’s hard drive, the chances are that it will be unencrypted. This data can easily be obtained either locally or remotely and exploited.

Interruption in Service

There are a wide array of threats that can cause interruption in a copier’s service. These threats can hamper user interfaces, power consumption, or the internal mechanism.


Most devices will process any job that is submitted, if they are not properly configured. This may result in denial of service to authentic users as well as wasting ink, paper, and toner.

Date Corruption

Same as spam, these threats can exploit a device’s system and cause some major setbacks.

Outdated OS

An outdated operating system or firmware may result in the system not being up to date with the current threats. A non-updated device can easily be control from a remote location.

Now that we know what could go wrong, let’s see what we can do to ensure that the data remains secure.

Get the Drive

If you’re leasing or renting the copier, make sure that you either shred and empty the drive before you return it, or keep the drive. Make sure that you clear the cache as well. Do the same if you’re selling or recycling a copier that you own.

Say No to USB Ports

USB ports are a great way for people to just walk up to the device and get their printing done. It is also a great way for someone to walk up to the copier and download all the data on the copier’s hard drive onto the USB stick and make away with it. Simply disable the options for using USB ports.

Clean your drives regularly

This is not something you need to do once in a lifetime. Clean the drives at least twice a month. Delete all data and format the drives to ensure security.

Follow Me Printing

Most follow me printing solutions follow two steps:

  1. A user initiates the printing job from his own workstation, as usual.
  2. The user physically walks to the copier/printer and executes the job by punching-in a previously decided authentication code.

Go Paperless

Document security is one of the major reasons of going paperless. With the proper document security system and encryption you can ensure the safety of your data no matter where it is. A good document security system can not only protect your data from the copier, but also on a cloud, on a tablet, or cell phone. These security systems offer password protection, as well as biometrics. Also the system will close the document as soon as it feels that a security threat is imminent.

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