How to Protect Your Office Copy Machine From Security Risks

Posted on October 19, 2023

Topics: Office Technology, Network Security

How to Protect Your Office Copy Machine From Security Risks

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For many businesses in Eastern and Central Ontario, an office copy machine is an indispensable asset, streamlining tasks and boosting productivity. However, these multifunctional devices are also potential security vulnerabilities if not properly secured.

OT Group, a leading provider of office technology, is dedicated to ensuring that businesses not only use their machines efficiently but also securely.

That’s why, in this blog, we explore the key steps your business can take to protect your office copy machine from potential security risks.

#1 - Use Secure Printing 

Most modern office copy machines have a feature called "secure printing" or "private print". This feature ensures that documents are held in a queue until the authorized user releases them with a unique PIN or badge. By implementing this, you can prevent confidential documents from being accidentally picked up or viewed by unauthorized personnel.

#2 - Restrict User Access 

Assign access rights to your copy machine based on roles within your organization. Not every employee needs access to all functions of the copier. By using user authentication methods, like PINs, smart cards, or biometrics, you can ensure that only authorized personnel can operate the machine.

#3 - Encrypt Your Hard Drive 

Many office copy machines come with internal hard drives that store copies of the documents they process. If not properly secured, this can be a goldmine for cybercriminals. To prevent unauthorized access, opt for machines that offer hard drive encryption or ensure that your current device's hard drive is encrypted. This way, even if someone accesses the hard drive, the data will be unreadable.

#4 - Regular Software Updates 

Manufacturers periodically release software updates to fix vulnerabilities and enhance machine performance. Ensure that your office copy machine's firmware and software are always up-to-date. This will protect it from known vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.

#5 - Implement Strong Network Security

Ensure your office network, which your copy machine is likely connected to, is secure. This includes:

  • Using strong, unique passwords.
  • Setting up firewalls.
  • Isolating your copy machine on a separate VLAN if possible, to prevent direct access from the broader network.
  • Implementing intrusion detection systems.

#6 - Invest in an Office Copy Machine With Data Overwrite Capability 

Opt for copiers with data overwrite capabilities. This feature ensures that after each task, the data is automatically and securely erased from the machine's memory, making it difficult for someone to retrieve it later.

#7 - Disable Unnecessary Features

​​If there are features on your copy machine that you don't use, such as email or cloud connectivity, consider disabling them. Each additional feature is a potential point of vulnerability, especially if they aren't regularly monitored or updated.

#8 - Conduct Regular Training and Awareness for Your Staff

Last but not least, train your staff. Employees should be aware of the risks associated with improperly using or leaving data on office machines. Regular training sessions can keep security best practices at the forefront of everyone's mind.

Choosing the Right Office Copy Machine is Also Important

Selecting the right office copy machine is just as crucial as securing it. The right device can streamline your operations, ensure optimal productivity, and offer the security features you need. 

Here are some general tips to guide you:

Determine Your Needs: The first step is to clearly identify what you need from your office copy machine. How many copies do you make a month? Do you require color printing? Do you need multifunctional capabilities like scanning or faxing?

Consider Volume and Speed: Choose a machine that can handle your office's volume without frequent breakdowns or delays. The pages-per-minute (PPM) rating can give you an idea of the copier's speed.

Assess Security Features: Ensure the copier you choose offers robust security features that align with your needs.

Integration Capabilities: It’s likely that you’ll want your new office copier to seamlessly integrate with your current office systems - whether it's your network, cloud storage, or document management system.

Your Budget: While it's essential to get a machine that meets your needs, it's equally important to remain within your budget. With that in mind, sometimes investing a bit more upfront can save you from costly repairs and replacements in the future. 

For a more comprehensive guide on choosing the best business copy machine tailored to your specific requirements, be sure to check out OT Group's detailed blog post: How to Choose the Best Business Copy Machine for Your Office.

Need help choosing the right office copy machine for your business, and making sure that it’s secure? Contact the OT Group team of office technology experts today. We would love to help your business make the right choice. 

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