Why You Should Be Concerned about Your Printer's Hard Drive Security

Posted by Terry Willis on January 20, 2014

Identity and information theft is currently a major concern affecting personal lives and organizations throughout the world. IdentityTheft.info states, “The sophistication level of professional identity thieves involved in organized crime continues to grow along with the methods they develop. From individually tailored phishing and vishing scams, to increasingly successful hacks of corporate and government databases, to elaborate networks of botnets designed to hijack millions of computers without any trace, there is an ever-increasing threat to all Americans.”

Your Printers, Copiers & Multifunction Devices Require Hard Drive Security Measures, Too

hard_drive_securityImplementing security measures that prevent this potentially catastrophic crisis from claiming your business as a victim should be a top priority. It is more important than ever in today’s advanced technology world to consider and protect all vulnerabilities presented to thieves. One vulnerability that often gets overlooked is printer hard drives. Many people don’t realize that the documents and data sent from a computer, tablet or mobile device are stored on that printer’s hard drive.

However, some printers and copiers, and most multifunction devices have a built-in or optional add-on hard drive. They allow the device to store and create a queue for managing multiple printing projects, support the computing functions and enable device multi-tasking.

If you sell, upgrade or retire your printing equipment you should properly destroy or clear the device’s hard drive to ensure no information can be retrieved and used. Print providers generally offer services to assist you in securing your hard drive. Here are a few examples:

#1 – Hard Drive Removal

Print providers can remove the hard drive from your equipment and leave it with you. You can then destroy it yourself or store it in a secure location where it cannot be accessed.

#2 – Hard Drive Overwriting

If you are disposing your hard drive you should make sure it is overwritten/wiped/erased completely. If this isn’t done completely and properly, you are at risk of having personal information or data stolen. Print providers can do this for you and will provide a Certificate of Hard Drive Disposition.

#3 – Secured Hard Drive

If you are upgrading or returning your printer to your provider, they may allow you to leave the hard drive as-is if you have done the following, and adhere to any additional policies:

  • Secured the information contained on your hard drive
  • Validated the content of the information was non-personal
  • Determined the device has an encrypted hard drive

Determine Your Copier, Printer or Multifunction Device’s Hard Drive Security Options

In addition to securing your hard drive for disposal, you should be aware of the security measures built in to the technology to protect it during use. Your printer manufacturer should have security statements available that detail measures integrated into the device or the add-on options available to you. Here are some common manufacturer’s security statements:

If you work with a print provider, they will be able to recommend devices ensure your security requirements are addressed. If you would like to discuss implementing a hard drive security program for your organization, talk to a Marco Print Specialist.

Request an Appointment with a Copier & Printer Specialist

Topics: Copiers & Printers