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Copy Machines a Security Risk?

For companies who rely on securing confidential and proprietary information from competitors or hackers, there’s much more you need to know about the inconspicuous digital copier. In this article we’ll look at five areas where confidential information may be compromised..

In addition to the risks of your clients here are 5 additional areas where copiers can compromise your security.

1. Many digital copiers are also network printers that store network information such as IP addresses, subnet masks and gateway IP’s. These settings are not stored on the hard drive and are not cleared by the digital copier “Purge” feature. Network settings must be manually cleared. Security experts will tell you to keep your network configuration private. You don’t want competitors or hackers to know your internal network configuration. The more information about your network infrastructure that’s accessible to hackers the less they have to figure out on their own and the sooner they can compromise your network.

2. Many digital copiers store the IP addresses of your DNS servers and/or Domain controllers. Depending on the type and model of your copier, this information may not be cleared by your copier “purge” function. You definitely don’t want competitors or hackers knowing the IP addresses of your Name Servers or Domain Controllers.

3. Many digital copiers store email addresses and some even download your entire Email Global Address List to the copier. Again, you don’t want this to be accessible to those outside your company.

4. The “purge” function used by older digital copy machines doesn’t delete any data from the copier hard drive. It only renders the data inaccessible to the copier software. It either deletes a file we techies would call a “file allocation table” or it will use other tactics to render the data unreadable to the copier software. The “Purge” button merely gives an allusion the disk has been cleaned. However, the data is still there and can be removed as shown on the CBS story. Most copier security policies rely on this built-in Purge function and think their data is cleared. It is not cleared. It can still be accessed with free scanning tools available on the internet.

5. If your copier has a fax capability, the copier also stores all the phone numbers it has dialled and the numbers it as dialled along with any information you provided in your Fax phone book. Again, the “Purge” function will not clear this information.

One of the biggest obstacles surrounding this whole issue of Copier Security is the apathy and ignorance of the Manufacturers. Most copier technicians today still believe the built-in Purge function deletes all information on the copier. To make matters worse, most copier technicians don’t know where the different type of information is stored. Some data is stored on the hard drive, some data in flash memory, and some data is stored in firmware. Sensitive information is stored in different places depending on the manufacturer and model of copier. Just when you think it can’t get worse. Let me drop the final shoe. There are no utilities that will scan a copier and certify that it has been completely purged for older digital copy machines.
We can help you secure and protect your client’s sensitive information, give us a call or contact us to arrange an appointment to discuss these and other matters in greater detail.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com John_Bagdanov