In today’s digital age, ensuring the security of your office equipment is paramount. Multifunction printers (MFPs), often overlooked in the broader IT security plan, deserve special attention. This blog will delve into key points highlighted in the white paper titled “Safeguard Your Organization’s Sensitive Business Information with a Comprehensive MFP Security Action Plan” and explore the importance of addressing MFP security separately from your organization’s overall IT security strategy.

The Hoax that Printing is Dead

If you remember, many articles over the year’s past stated that printing is going away, yet in 2021 the print market had a value of $433.79 Billion and by the end of 2027, it’s estimated to value $484.22 Billion according to Radix.  Granted, the print market varies from newspaper and magazine printing to regular office and in-house marketing type printing, either way, there is a tremendous amount of printing, hence the need for security.

Another mind-boggling statistic is the web to print services market that was valued at $29.58 Billion in 2021 and projected to reach $39.99 Billion by 2027. Again, so much day-to-day printing whether it’s MFPs or printers, security is a must for all businesses, and it starts beyond the firewalls.

Beyond Firewalls

Putting your copier behind your company’s firewall is undoubtedly a good start, but it’s far from a guarantee of security. Many organizations mistakenly assume that their broader IT security plan covers all aspects of MFP security. However, this faulty logic leaves vulnerabilities unaddressed. To truly secure your MFPs, you need a specialized security plan.

Security Plan

Your security plan should include these key elements to ensure your MFP is secure:

  • Implement a strong sure authentication protocol to ensure that only authorized personnel can access and use the MFPs. Include features like PIN codes and biometric authentication.
  • Enforce a pull printing system, such as PaperCut, where users must authenticate at the MFP to initiate printing, ensuring that sensitive documents don’t sit unattended in output trays.
  • Secure all communication ports and network connections associated with MFPs to prevent unauthorized access or date interception.
  • Keep MFP firmware, BIOS, and operating systems up to date to patch vulnerabilities and ensure the device’s overall security.
  • Implement application whitelisting to restrict which software and applications can run on the MFP, reducing the risk of malicious code execution.
  • Maintain detailed logs of MFP usage and access to track potential security breaches or suspicious activities.
  • Maintain a policy for cloud and mobile technologies vulnerabilities of “anytime, anywhere access to business information.
  • Make sure the copier manufacturer has a Lease End Erase function or even an optional Data Security Kit.
  • One leading manufacturer, Sharp Electronics offers a Bit-defender Virus Detection Kit for most of their products.
  • Provide training to users about safe printing and scanning practices, emphasizing the importance of data security and compliance with company policies.

All Copier Access Points

To take MFP security even further, MFPs encompass several access points, including display screens, hard drives, communication ports, and network connections. Each of these access points represents an opportunity for unauthorized entry. While user authentication is a fundamental security layer, it’s insufficient on its own to safeguard against potential breaches. Ignoring MFP security or assuming it’s encompassed by an overarching IT security strategy can be detrimental to your organization’s security posture.


In a world where information is the lifeblood of organizations, MFP security must not be relegated to the sidelines. Treating MFPs as integral components of your overall security strategy and addressing the key points outlined here will help fortify your defenses against potential threats. By proactively managing MFP security, you safeguard your organization’s most valuable asset: its data.

To learn more about MFP security, please reach out to Smile Business Products for more information on how Smile and Sharp Electronics can help safeguard your MFP.

Everyday all businesses face vulnerabilities. Whether its email phishing, ransomware attacks or social engineering campaigns, it’s just a matter of time before a business incurs a security breach.

Most people think of a security breach as an open network port or missing patch updates, but there is also risks with MFPs and printers. Check out what Sharp Electronics has been doing since 2001.

Common Criteria Certification

Sharp was the first document systems manufacturer to obtain Common Criteria Certification on a hardcopy device. Since then, Sharp has continued to be a leader in document systems security by meeting the latest security guidelines by the U.S. Government. Common Criteria is an international standard that defines a set of high-level security guidelines for information technology products. Products that become Common Criteria certified have been rigorously tested over several months and validated by independent third-party laboratories, providing the most up to date security validation for businesses, government and military offices.

Hardcopy Device Protection Profile

In September of 2019, Sharp’s newest line of color workgroups and color desktop MFPs became Common Criteria Certified based on the Hardcopy Device Protection Profile (HCD-PP) V1.0 security target. Hardcopy Device Protection Profile (HCD-PP) is a specific security profile for multifunction printers (MFPs) and is based on requirements specific through the industry collaboration with the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) and the Information Technology Promotion Agency, Japan (IPA). The profile aims to protect information processed by an MFP from security threats.

Multi-layer Approach

In addition, Sharp takes a multi-layer security approach including the following features that are native to their hardware:

  • HDD Data Overwrite
  • Firmware Attack Prevention and Recovery
  • Application Whitelisting
  • IP/MAC Filtering/Port Control
  • 256-bit Data Encryption
  • User Authentication (Local/LDAP and Active Directory)
  • Audit Log (standard Syslog protocol)
  • End-of-Lease (overwrite and trade-in)
  • Optional Data Security Kit – Trusted Platform Module, Firmware Digital signature, advanced features for highly secure environments

As an MNS provider, Smile Business Products stresses additional ways to minimize risk with your Sharp MFP by:

  • Change the Admin passwords regularly or when an employee leaves the company
  • Take steps to destroy the existing data on a hard disk when trading in the copier (End-of-Lease)
  • Removing the hard-drive completely when retiring a MFP
  • Closing unused network ports on the MFP
  • Protect wireless LAN’s

Don’t be a statistic, protect your company and avoid a breach.  Did you know that 60% of all businesses lose their data through printer security breaches*? Here is a Checklist to Mitigate Threats at the MFP

Contact Smile Business Products for more information to ensure that your MFP is secure.

*Global Print Security Landscape 2019 by Quocira




Customize Workflow on Sharp Devices

As the BLI Line of the Year, Sharp multifunction printers are ideal for any company’s offices. They come in full color and monochrome to fit each company’s needs. These printers have been engineered to help companies print with the best quality and outstanding efficiency. Some of Sharp’s MFP’s come in different sheet tandem paper decks, allowing up to over 3,000 sheets in paper capacity.

They will save time and money, printing out any type of document in-house with image quality that is also economical. With the front panel display, it makes printing documents even easier.

The Importance of Workflow in the Modern Economy

The importance of efficient workflow in the modern economy cannot be understated. Time is more precious than ever, and businesses need every tool available to increase productivity. One of the areas where productivity is most important is the print environment. With fully functional paperless offices still in the distant future, printing keeps information flowing.

Optimizing printing operations is key, and Sharp printers are the weapon of choice. Never compromise on multifunction printers, they provide essential services that have a direct impact on office productivity.

Customization in Sharp’s Devices

One of the greatest advantages of Sharp products for multifunction printers is their customizability. Firms looking for an all in one printer should shop Sharp. Sharp printers are the best in quality on the market today winning BLI’s Line of the Year!

Having an all in one printer is a necessity in business today, they are powerful and require little maintenance. Then the little maintenance that these printers do need can be performed by a managed service.

Customizing the User Interface on Sharp Touchscreens

With any of the three sizes of screens, they are all customizable to each person or company’s needs. Ease of use for any user makes Sharp printers a top choice for businesses around the world. Another great feature of Sharp’s all in one printer touchscreen interface is that they support two-sides flipping. Meaning that two-sided pages are easy to review directly from the LCD panel.

Innovation in User-Friendly Technology

Having a touch-screen panel makes these printers very user-friendly. Anyone can accomplish any action with the ease of a finger. No need to go back and forth from the printer to the computer. The amount of time that this feature saves is incredible, and by saving time, firms also save money.

Another advantage of the unmatched ease of use that is associated with sharp MFP touchscreens is the increased employee productivity. Having an unintuitive printing interface causes employees to struggle unduly. Sharp touchscreen products are the way to go for printers that are intuitive, efficient, and easy to use.

With technology advancing so rapidly, keeping up with it can be difficult. Simplicity is inherent in the user interface design of this technology and has made it easier for people. Touch-screens have ended up being one of the easiest facets of technology for anyone to use.

Features on the Touch-Screen of Sharp Multifunction Printers

The touch-screen on Sharp multifunction printers has many features on the 10.1-inch, 8.5-inch, and 7-inch. These features make them a great value for the price.

The features on the 10.1 inch include an overview, action panel, real-time image preview, eco mode, languages, move/delete pages, page rotation, and two-sided flip. Seeing these options on a touch screen will make printing easier. With the real-time image preview, the pages show up exactly how they will be printed out, so users can make changes before printing.

With these printers, there are 24 languages to choose from making them ideal for many companies to use across the globe. The eco mode helps save energy and electricity, with the option to best fit the customer’s needs day to day.

Embrace cost savings with the sleek and economical 8.5-inch display model. It comes with an overview, thumbnail view, and advanced image check. Printing with this screen isn’t as advanced as the 10.1-inch but will still get documents printed with uncompromised quality.

The 7-inch display has the same overview and thumbnail view as the 8.5-inch screen, however, it does not come with the advanced image check. It does come with a convenient stylus, for easy use. This printer will still print just as well as the other two models, with comparable quality.

Make Workflow Seamless with Smile                          

Businesses are dependent for anything to give them a competitive edge. The search is over, with Smile’s Sharp’s touchscreens for multifunction printers. These devices are advanced, affordable, and will impress in the office as they are sleek and easy to use.

Get the best MFP touchscreen on the market through Smile, a trusted vendor

Sharp is well-known for leading the way in paper economy and consumable efficiency. However, many offices and institutions are looking for an even greater focus on preventable paper waste, user accountability and enhanced tracking.

Deploying a fleet of highly efficient printers and multifunction devices is just the first step when it comes to truly reducing office waste. To truly make a difference, executives and directors need to commit time and effort into reducing overall print usage and establishing systems of accountability.

When it comes to print tracker software, there is no name more respected than PaperCut. The company’s output management and user tracking software has proven itself invaluable time and time again.

However, office managers are right to question whether PaperCut will truly deliver results with their existing equipment. Will PaperCut MF provide the kinds of results it promises even with a print fleet full of hyper-efficient Sharp imaging devices? Are they even compatible with one another? This is exactly the question that Smile’s imaging experts answer on a regular basis.

Are Sharp Imaging Devices Compatible with PaperCut?

There is nothing worse than going through the time-consuming acquisition process only to end up with software and hardware that are incompatible with one another. It’s a mistake that has cost office managers their jobs in the past – executives expect their teams to perform due diligence.

Fortunately, when it comes to integrating PaperCut with Sharp printers and multifunction devices, the answer is simple: Yes, they are compatible with one another. There is no need to worry about whether your Sharp equipment will play nicely with PaperCut MF.

In fact, the latest PaperCut release incorporates advanced functions with eligible Sharp multifunction devices. For instance, office managers can incorporate their Sharp device’s stapling unit into the PaperCut Global Print Driver.

The PaperCut is continually working towards new finishing option compatibilities for its software and Sharp devices. As the company releases more drivers and integrated systems, Sharp users will enjoy automatic increases to their cost-efficiency and tracking capabilities. Simply check the PaperCut Knowledgebase to find out what the latest developments are at any time.

Why Choose PaperCut MF?

PaperCut does something that no multifunction printer on the market can do by itself. PaperCut Software establishes a sophisticated rule-based print environment for individual users and places control over that environment squarely in the hands of print administrators.

The management powers that PaperCut confers on administrators are extremely valuable. With PaperCut, system administrators can enjoy immediate real-time visibility into print processes at the individual user level and set or restrict user access based on that data.

This means that with PaperCut, an office manager could restrict print usage for a particular employee who has been abusing print resources wastefully. This happens at the software level, with no need to issue a reprimand or to confront the employee at all – the system simply produces an error message explaining that the monthly print quota has been exceeded.

Alternatively, office managers can use PaperCut to issue format and file-specific rules for office printing. For example, an office manager may wish to reduce color printing for internal documents without affecting color printing processes for external documents. With PaperCut, external documents could enjoy a special exception to an otherwise strict no-color rule, based on document format, origin, or content.

The benefits of PaperCut MF go beyond the cost-saving advantages that accountability provides. They extend to visibility and transparency at the executive level. They ensure that corporate stakeholders know what’s happening with the company’s print processes at any given time. This is one reason why PaperCut is popular among academic institutions.

Making the Most of PaperCut

To make the most of PaperCut, implementation and training are necessary. Not only does the office print manager need to become a qualified PaperCut expert, but individual users need to be aware of the new rules of accountability concerning print usage.

PaperCut training is easy to administer with the help of a reputable vendor. Our team of technicians is happy to take on the task of implementing PaperCut throughout the entire office and instructing the appropriate employees in its proper use.

With PaperCut training and Sharp printer support offered in a single service, office managers can entrust the entirety of their print accountability framework to our team. With these tools and services at their disposal, print managers can enjoy the peace of mind that complete accountability and visibility offer.

Have Smile Perform Your PaperCut Integration

Entrust your print processes to Smile to earn the qualified expertise of some of the industry’s finest minds. Our imaging professionals can help your office capitalize on its Sharp imaging equipment using PaperCut MF’s sophisticated print tracking technology.

You could start tracking print usage at the level of individual users starting today. Talk to a Smile imaging expert to find out how.