More Yammering About MFP Security

A hidden security risk that is often overlooked is the office printing environment.

Doc's been blathering for some time about the importance of including multi-function peripherals in your security considerations. Many of these devices store important data and images and many are on lease programs, which has them being traded in at some point.

So I'm always on the prowl for good coverage of MFP security. That lead me to our friends in Ireland at TechCentral:

Much has been made in the media about high-profile losses of electronic data in public places. Lost laptops or USB sticks, containing sensitive data, routinely draw attention to inadequate security policies as well as the unreliability of human behaviour. While many organisations have taken steps to limit information loss via computers and hand-held devices, a more hidden security risk is often overlooked: the printing environment.

Information is every organisation's key asset, and security is essential to the office - for documents and for any device connected to the network. Employees print, fax, copy, scan and send a company's most important information across the enterprise network every day. Being part of the office environment for decades, printers have become so familiar that hardly anybody gives a second thought about using them. Yet, modern printers have become sophisticated devices. Consider today's multifunction printers (MFPs), for example, which offer more data-handling features than ever, including hard drives for storing documents and scan-to-e-mail services that make them as sophisticated as many desktop PCs. Enterprises routinely attach MFPs to networks, giving them all the flexibility, and security vulnerability, of any computer on a network. Yet despite the vital role that networked printing and imaging resources play in many organisations, enterprises often leave them out of their security policies. Security is not optional. Customer privacy concerns and government security regulations are changing the way many industries conduct business today.

Doc has probably said enough now on this topic, but he's obsessed with security (I have a lot to hide), and wants to be sure no one gets missed in the message that your peripherals can come back to haunt you.