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Shhh...You can keep a secret, but can your copier?
Danielle Cerny /

Shhh...You can keep a secret, but can your copier?

Your copiers and printers know the latest files you’ve worked in, the last email that you were caps locked on, maybe even what you are having for dinner tonight. Copiers fly under the radar as far as endpoints are concerned, but they hold a wealth of secrets since they are connected to your entire network, not only that chili recipe that you printed yesterday. That means your files, email and other devices can be accessed from your copier, so it is important to keep security in mind when purchasing, installing, updating and removing your machine.

You’ve heard countless messages about the importance of data security.  In recent years, bad actors have stepped up their activity and are using more sophisticated techniques to take advantage of distributed and remote work environments. In today’s widespread threat landscape, a well-balanced, multi-layered security strategy is needed to help ensure your copiers and printers keep your information safe from malicious intruders.

Here are some features that can keep your copier on lockdown:

  1. Regular BIOS and firmware integrity checks

One of the key layers of security is a BIOS integrity check at startup. It’s the ultimate check-up before the check-up. Before the BIOS start-up file executes, the integrity check feature compares it to a known reference, which ensures the BIOS has not been tampered with and that it is running the correct version of the code.

Similar to the BIOS check is a firmware check. Firmware is low-level software that is embedded in a hardware device that controls operation. Like the BIOS check, a firmware integrity check will verify that the firmware on the device is valid by comparing it to a known reference value. If the copier also has a self-recovery function, a mismatched value will result in the device loading a backup version of the firmware, thus protecting the device and the network from any malware infection.

  1. Application Whitelisting

Only the most exclusive apps should be allowed. We’ve all heard about the dangers of unverified apps installed on our phones, and the same goes for your copier. Bad actors can inject malicious code into an app and provide it for download. Once downloaded, that app can be used to gain access to your device, and eventually, the network. Application Whitelisting enables only known, trusted applications to run on the copier, ensuring optimal performance and security.

  1. Encryption and TPM

Encryption is a security technique that renders data unreadable to unauthorized entities, Dan Brown style. Encrypting your data means that no one, including hackers, can read it without the proper encryption key. Encryption is an important feature, particularly for organizations dealing with sensitive data, such as those in healthcare, finance, or legal. An encryption key is typically a random string of code that is used in combination with an algorithm to scramble and unscramble data. The key’s security system is the TPM (Trusted Platform Module). TPM is an industry-standard technology that provides authentication and verification of data. When access to encrypted data on the copier is requested, TPM uses cryptographic values to compare the encryption key data to a stored reference. If the two values don’t match, access is denied.   

  1. Antivirus

Copiers that offer antivirus features as part of a multi-layered security strategy provide added protection against viruses, trojans, and other forms of malware that are looking for ways to access the corporate network and valuable data. An antivirus solution such as Bitdefender, coupled with Application Whitelisting work hand in hand to protect your device from malware.

Copiers are more than “just printers,” and they know more than they let on. Just like your computer or tablet, they are connected to your network and are therefore a potential entryway for hackers. Ignoring these essential security features is basically rolling out the welcome mat for bad actors that will steal more than your secret chili recipe. Looking for a security-first copier or want to learn more about printer security? Visit https://business.sharpusa.com/Document-Systems/Security.

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