What about the Hard Drive in Your Printer?

What about the Hard Drive in Your Printer?

Summary: As security becomes a bigger and bigger issue with many companies, important steps are often taken to secure corporate networks and customer data. But what happens when you turn in your old printer for a new one?

SHARE:
7

As security becomes a bigger and bigger issue with many companies, important steps are often taken to secure corporate networks and customer data. But what happens when you turn in your old printer for a new one?

In many cases, vital data may be stored on the internal printer hard drive. It's an easy security hole to overlook.

JJ Bender, a leading provider of high-volume digital printing solutions, announced this month their hard drive security program for companies looking to protect sensitive data and prevent copier-related crimes such as identity theft.

Recent news reports, such as those seen on CBS Evening news, have highlighted the dangers of copier and printer hard drives, particularly the growing number of cases where machines are resold or returned on lease, only to have the hard drives removed, and critical data extracted.

"Like a computer, the internal hard drive on a digital printer stores a copy of everything you print or photocopy, and this security risk is often overlooked by major companies," says Jeffrey Bender, President of JJ Bender.

JJ Bender's hard drive security program protects sensitive data by destroying hard drives in three ways, all of which are compliant with the most recent data erasure policies, such as DOD 5220-22M. Options for hard drive protection include software overwrite, physical destruction, or reformatting the drives.

Doc hadn't really thought about the data stored in printers and bets you may not have either. But whether you hire a service like JJ Bender, do it yourself, or rely on your Managed Print Services provider, you should be sure the data stored in printer hard drives is erased to the same standards as any other critical company information.

Topics: Hardware, Printers, Security

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

7 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: What about the Hard Drive in Your Printer?

    Self-encrypting hard drives can reduce the risk of data leakeage. Some new features such as wipe technology from Toshiba are specifically aimed at the printer-copier use case.
    scott.wright@...
  • How about more details?

    Realistically, unless the printer/copier is totally trashed (the HP LaserJet 5si we bought around 2000 is still chugging away fine) and literally ready to be scrapped, what would wiping the drive do and how would it be done? I assume the average in-house IT admin at a small company (maybe 50-100 employees max) wouldn't feel comfortable pulling apart a complicated printer/copier, wiping the drive and possibly in the process trashing the whole machine. I assume the drive probably contains an operating system. Most functioning older machines from top brands still have a fairly good resale value.
    Rick_R
  • RE: What about the Hard Drive in Your Printer?

    The author should clarify that this article only pertains to companies that use copiers and printers in a business environment. This has nothing to do with the average inkjet printer at ones home.
    rocketman67
  • Digital Photocopy machines without data protection

    What about the millions of Digital copy machines and MFP's that are used throughout corporations and government agencies without any data protection in place for the HD's. Overwriting with software is just not the best practice and can leave Highly confidential data at risk. Is there a secure erase option for these machines?
    woodnh888
  • RE: What about the Hard Drive in Your Printer?

    @Woodnh888

    It is standard on all Xerox machines
    techie73
  • good idea about printers

    Thanks for your sharing. Hi, do you want to buy hp toner cartridges? Here you can find laserjet cartridges, <a href="http://www.dealingway.com/Wholesale-hp-toner-cartridges_c230">printer toner cartridges</a>, laser toner cartridges, hp laser toner cartridges and laser printer toner cartridges wholesale online.Ovv47
    gavin.chan
  • RE: What about the Hard Drive in Your Printer?

    Doc needs to be clear: there is a big difference between large multi-function network printers and the kind you have on your desktop or even a small network. Most desktop printers do not have built-in hard drives, though they certainly have memory. But the security risks we are talking about here are typically only a problem for the larger machines that serve as high-capacity printers and scanners ??? it's those devices that IT administrators need to be careful about.
    DocuMentor (Doc)