Printer Security Risks: Why Your Printer can be a Threat to Cyber Security


printer security risksWhen it comes to any copier, MFPs, scanners, or really anything with a hard drive connected to a network — cyber security threats are always a concern. For some offices, nearly all of their document workflow is contained in the hard drive of their MFP. Securing this data should be top-of-mind, if it isn’t already. Sharp Electronics has realized the importance of printer security risks, and built a suite of proprietary security features into its machines.

Types of Printer Security Risks

When dealing with cyber security threats as they relate to MFPs, we’re basically talking about two types of security risks. Physical threats and network threats. Here is the difference between both.

Printer Security Risks: Physical Threats
Unless your printer or MFP is locked up in a room somewhere, it’s likely located in an area accessible by most of your office personnel. That creates the threat of having documents stored locally on the hard drive getting printed by individuals who are not authorized to have access to them. There’s also the possibility of emailing or faxing the documents to others directly from the machine without authorization.

Printer Security Risks: Network Threats
If access to data on your MFPs hard drive is not secure, it creates the threat of hackers being able to access your information or even install a virus on the machine, rendering it unusable. Communications on an unsecured machine can also be intercepted if you’re sending documents to others outside your office. Any data stored on an MFP hard drive is subject to be stolen if not secured.

Sharp Security Suite

Sharp has always been one of our top recommended brands. Not only because they manufacture some of the best machines, but also because their security solutions are second to none. Sharp’s Security Suite can help prevent unauthorized access to your network and confidential data. It can not only minimize printer security risks, but it can help you set restrictions with respect to which employees have access to which documents.

Sharp MFPs utilize a multi-layered approach for protection. Data stored on a Sharp machine is overwritten 8 times, meaning if a hacker were to gain access to your network they would see a mashup of 8 different documents piled on top of each other.

Sharp’s cyber security suite helps you not only protect data while you own the machine, it will ensure no one is ever able to access your data if the machine gets passed on to a new owner. For example, if your lease is up, or you own the machine and want to sell it, there’s an End-of-Lease feature which will wipe your data and return the MFP back to factory settings.

Designed to Meet the Cyber Security Standards for Private Sector, Public Sector, and Government Organizations.

The Sharp Security Suite is designed to meet the following security standards:

  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) Act: For banks and investment institutions.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): For insurance and healthcare providers.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act: Protects financial information for businesses across all industries.
  • ISO 15408 (International Standard Organization 15408): For public sector and government organizations.
  • IPv6/IPsec: To meet Federal Government and Department of Defense requirements.
  • Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-12: For controlling access to government network resources.

Any business or organization can benefit from Sharp’s ability to fend off cyber security threats. If you have any other questions about how our machines can help make your documents secure, please contact me directly and I’ll be happy to answer them.

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