“Why knowing more about your printer and scanner data may be the smartest business decision you make this year”

Recognise the potential risks and the solutions that can overcome them.

“Why knowing more about your printer and scanner data may be the smartest business decision you make this year”

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect May this year, but according to the research firm, Forrester, 80% of companies will not fully comply, either intentionally or unintentionally1. This poses a risk not only of potential data loss or theft, but also harsh financial penalties of up to €20,000,000 or 4 percent of a company’s global turnover if a company is found to be non-compliant2. Therefore, in the interest of business, the smartest decision to make this year will be to know your technology and how it uses, stores and shares data, the risks involved, and the opportunities to safeguard it.

In knowing your technology, consider that in today’s digital age, trusty printers and scanners are so much more than just office equipment. They have become a critical link in office networks, as they connect us to shared drives, laptops, mobile phones and tablet devices. Technology developments have made multi-function printers (MFPs) and networked scanners able to connect to many devices to handle, sort and process significant amounts of personal and company data.

Although these technologies have effectively advanced over time, understanding of their capabilities and need to secure them haven’t necessarily kept pace. In fact, a recent print security report dubbed the MFP printer a ‘weak link’ in IT infrastructure, finding that in 61% of large enterprises surveyed at least one security breach has occurred because of insecure printing3.

There are two key vulnerabilities when it comes to scanners and MFPs that make them susceptible to data loss or theft, and which need to be correctly managed by an organisation in order to avoid a potential breach under the new GDPR:

  1. Unauthorised access to the network: Printers and scanners can be an entry point to the company’s network, since several kinds of devices may be connected to an office printer, for example laptops, tablets and mobile phones.

  2. Unclaimed output: Perhaps the most obvious, unclaimed documents containing sensitive information at the printer could be left standing for unwanted eyes to see.

By recognising the transition that office technology is making, and the potential risks that are involved, Epson MFPs and scanners offer solutions to customer challenges to ensure security issues can be addressed and controlled, and companies can meet the new requirements of GDPR. The various solutions fall under three categories that address the key risks:

  • Enhanced document security: A Print Admin system can be used to grant authority, authenticate and identify users, and control what each user can and can’t do at a printing device. Confidential documents can be stay out of the wrong hands because prints are only released to the owner. Other advanced admin features allow further document flow control in more secure ways.

  • Hard disk security: When a printer needs to be replaced, all confidential information on the current printer can be erased by returning all settings back to the factory default (initialisation).

  • Secure / encrypted communication: Using the inbuilt IP Filtering function, users can filter IP addresses, types of services, reception and transmission port numbers. This provides a way for the network administrator to monitor and define who has access. It is also possible to encrypt all network communication using the IPSec function. PIN code function grants access only to those with the number. To add an additional layer of security, these printers come with complete compatibility with the latest security and encryption protocols.

Today’s printers and scanners are powerful office technologies, and the valuable data that they collect, store and share should be protected. Thankfully, there are solutions that will give you peace of mind and ensure your company remains in control and compliant.

To learn even more about printer and scanner security, read our whitepaper ‘IT security and GDPR: What they mean for printing and scanning in your business’.

1. Forrester, 2018 Predictions 2018: A year of reckoning
2. GDPR IDC Whitepaper PDF, page 2
3. Quocirca, Print security: An imperative in the IoT era, 2017, page 3