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.
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.
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.