Copier security: Essential tips to keep your network safe

Copier security: Essential tips to keep your network safe

You might think that peripheral devices like copiers are not serious security threats, but cybercriminals are banking on this misunderstanding. Copiers have access to confidential information, network devices, and your wider IT infrastructure. If cybercriminals hack your copiers, they’ll have an easy gateway into your entire system.

Here we'll explore the key security features of copiers you should make use of, utilizing Canon copiers as an example. We’ll also outline tips and best practices for secure copying to help you safeguard your business's valuable information.

Key security features of modern copiers

Copiers manufactured by Canon and other leading vendors come standard with robust security features designed to protect your documents and data throughout the entire copying process. Here are some of the most important security features that you can use to easily secure your devices.

User authentication features

Canon copiers offer various user authentication methods to ensure that only authorized personnel can access the device and its functions. These methods include:

  • PIN codes: Users must enter a personal identification number (PIN) before accessing the copier.
  • Proximity cards: Employees can use proximity cards or RF key fobs to authenticate themselves. These are great for temporary authentication.
  • Biometric authentication: Some Canon copiers support fingerprint scanning for added security.

With these authentication methods, your administrators can even restrict certain employees to certain functions of the device, giving you supreme control over your copier’s security.

Secure print

Secure print prevents the release of documents until the person who printed the document is physically present at the copier. This feature prevents sensitive documents from being left unattended and vulnerable in the output tray.

Data encryption

Most modern copiers utilize data encryption to protect information as it is being processed and stored. Canon copiers, in particular, offer multiple encryption methods including hard drive encryption. This feature ensures that data stored on the copier's hard drive is encrypted to prevent unauthorized access, so even if the device is compromised, the data is safe.

Audit logs

Canon copiers can generate detailed audit logs that record all activities performed on the device. These logs help you monitor usage, detect suspicious behavior, and provide reports for security compliance purposes.

Anti-malware

As copiers grow more sophisticated, they become vulnerable to malware just like desktops and laptops. Built-in anti-malware programs make protecting your copier easier. Canon copiers come with McAfee security software already installed, which can, among other things, prevent the installation or execution of programs without a digital signature applied by Canon.

Best practices for secure copying

Using the built-in security features of copiers mentioned above can only do so much. You’ll still need to implement best practices for secure copying to further enhance the protection of your sensitive information. Here are some best practices to consider:

  • Regularly update firmware: Keep your copier's firmware up to date to protect against known vulnerabilities. Schedule regular firmware updates as part of your IT maintenance routine.
  • Configure access controls: Set up access controls to restrict who can use certain functions of the copier. If using the copier is not required for an employee’s role, they don’t need access, and granting it only creates a vulnerability.
  • Secure physical access: Place copiers in secure, monitored locations to prevent unauthorized physical access by criminals, customers, or unauthorized employees. Consider using security cameras or access control systems to monitor who accesses the copier room.
  • Educate employees: Provide regular training for your employees on the importance of copier security and best practices for secure copying. Ensure they have the knowledge to utilize your copier's security features.
  • Regularly erase data: Regularly erase data from the copier's hard drive to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. If you use a Canon copier, leverage the automatic data erasure feature to ensure data is wiped after each job and no trace of sensitive information remains.

If you want an advanced and secure copier for your business, contact Complete Document Solutions. We’ve got over 30 years of experience helping Orange County businesses succeed with effective document solutions, and our partnership with Canon gives you access to the best and most secure copiers on the market at the best possible prices. We’ll also help you install, configure, and train your workforce on your new copier.


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