Understanding Your Copy Machine

Posted by on January 3, 2011 in Business Start Up Advice [ 1 Comment ]

office-copierDespite the “digital age” copy machines are flourishing. Copy machines are a convenient solution for businesses looking to invest in long-term, cost saving equipment. The Press Democrat reports, “When you are doing 18-19 million copies, two-tenths of a cent makes a lot of difference.” Office Copiers make a lot of sense for paper heavy offices or businesses that share copy services, but it is not without risk. Whether your business makes copies in house or uses outside services, you should understand security precautions with your precious business documents.

Copy machines are becoming more advanced. With this comes faster copies and digital storage. Copy machines are now equipped with hard drives that records the data of the copies made. Almost all copy machines made after 2002 are equipped with a hard drive that stores history data. The machines will do this behind the scenes and not notify you that it is recording your data. Even scarier is that these hard drives can be easily removed and read by anyone!

This problem is not just for businesses that own a copy machine; it is prevalent with companies that use outside copy machine services. If your business uses outside services like Kinkos or FedEx make sure you understand that your documents could potentially be accessible by a malicious machine operator.

To address this issue, people within your business should have a technical understanding of the copy systems. Sam Wambugu of Daily Nation writes, “All data sitting on a printer, scanner, copied or just in the device’s memory should always be encrypted. Access to the storage and network interface of the device should always be carefully assessed and protected. All staff need to have some ID and use it to log into the copier if it is a shared one. Every document sent to a printer, or placed on a copier, should be tied to a real ID to maintain accountability.”

There are apparent risks with copying documents in this day and age. The “digital age” has made it easier for thieves to infiltrate areas of business that were never before possible. Understanding and acknowledging the problem is step one, but make sure your business takes all possible security measures with its copy tasks.

Image Credit: ACP Internist

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