About 10 years ago, there was a shocking news report that showed copiers going overseas and a news crew being able to get the hard disc drives (HDD) and it showed there was a lot of personally identifiable information (PII) on the copiers, including social security numbers and medical records.
It’s been 10 years, and the question still comes up about how secure the data is that goes through the copier. There is a good reason. This is one of the areas of IT that is rarely considered, so hackers and cybercriminals can have an opportunity if a copier’s data is not protected.
In this article, we will cover if copiers are a risk for data breaches and what can be done to protect your company.
Older Copiers Most at Risk
If you have a really old copier, purchased before 2014, you would be most at risk. The industry as a whole started to put in much better security and even started partnering with companies like McAfee or Norton to help keep copiers safe for their clients. This was much easier before these solutions started to be implemented.
Copier companies started making it so that hard drives were encrypted, which helped immensely with data security. If you have an older copier, you could be at risk. If you have a newer copier, you are likely much safer from the potential for data loss through your office copier.
Schedule HDD Cleanups
One of the great features modern copiers have is the ability to schedule a time of the day, week, or month when any data on the hard drive can be overwritten and deleted. This makes your data even more secure and, in many cases, will help the copier run better, as it will not have any residue data files on the system, potentially slowing down the copier.
Scheduling routine image overwriting is a good best practice for companies that handle sensitive information. This will help most companies have a secure posture when it comes to their copiers.
For those companies who need ultimate security, there are still kits being made that will force data to be encrypted as well as immediately overwrite every job so there is never any sensitive data being stored on the copier. These kits are available for Canon copiers, Xerox copiers, Konica Minolta copiers, and HP copiers. Other brands offer similar products too. This is something to consider adding to your copier when the highest level of data security is important to you.
One Area of Caution
We have seen some companies remove their HDD at the end of a lease and then return the copier in inoperable condition (because the HDD is required for the copier to work correctly). When this happens, there can be additional fees imposed by the leasing company because one of the most common requirements in a copier lease is to return the copier in good working condition.
If a company is motivated enough to take a hard drive out of the copier, they would probably be better served to get the security kit in the first place because it would afford them protection for the 5 years they had the copier and ensure no data was on the copier that could be used by a cybercriminal.
We do not recommend returning copiers to leasing companies with missing parts, as this will generally trigger clauses where the final bill is much more expensive than it would have been to solve the issue correctly in the first place.
Want to Talk About Copiers and Data Security?
We have a team of sales professionals who have the training and support from engineers needed to make sure your company’s copiers and data are safe. Contact us to learn about how we can help your business be secure and have a copier that will protect your data.
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