Electronic Data Security

Office copiers retain data on the files they process – securing that data is a must.

Digital copiers pose many of the same cybersecurity risks associated with computers. This is so because theyre also computers. Data thieves know that office copiers run on “smart” technology with hard drives that store information about printed, copied and scanned documents – a potential trove of sensitive data.

 What steps should businesses take to protect the data across a copier’s lifecycle?

 The Federal Trade Commission provides guidance online in Digital Copier Data Security: A Guide for Businesses. The guide details the process from integrating a copier into your company’s information security policies and offers best practices for printing to securing the hard drive after the device has run its course.

Manufacturers can also tell you about the security features of their copiers, which may include:

  • Encryption software that scrambles hard drive data, making it difficult to extract
  • Overwriting functionality that digitally changes data values so files can’t be reconstructed
  • Locking a hard drive via passcode

The FTC’s point is clear: businesses of all kinds are legally responsible for the information stored on digital copiers. In fact, institutions handling personal financial or health care information are required to have security plans for the information processed on digital copiers.