Originally appeared on Xerox Small Business Solutions.
By Rieva Lesonsky
Cyber criminals have small businesses in their sights. Symantec reports forty-three percent of cyber attacks target small businesses, up from eighteen percent five years ago. According to the Ponemon Institute, fifty-five percent of small and midsized companies have suffered a cyber attack in the past twelve months, and fifty percent have had a security breach that compromised customer or employee data.
“No problem,” you may be thinking, confident your business network is protected, your antivirus software is up to date and your employees are following security protocols. Despite all of these precautions, however, cyber crooks may still be infiltrating your business via a tool you use every day: your printers.
You’ve probably never considered printers as an entry points for hackers, but using the wrong printer can pose many risks to your business data. Consider these threats:
- Today’s printers store data on their hard drives, which are vulnerable to hacking just like any other computer.
- Hackers can intercept sensitive data while it’s being transmitted to the printer.
- Documents left lying on the printer unattended can expose sensitive information to prying eyes—or picked up by an unauthorized person.
- Even after documents are printed and filed, they can be lost, stolen or read by people who shouldn’t be seeing them.
While Ponemon says most attacks against SMBs are web-based or use phishing/social engineering, the organization also reports that seventy percent of businesses have experienced one or more accidental data breaches through printing.
As businesses become more digitally connected, not only is your data at risk from unsecured printers, but your customers’ and vendors’ data is, too. In fact, many hackers attack small businesses as a way to “piggyback” into the computer systems of those companies’ large customers and suppliers.
How can you best protect your business, your vendors and your customers? Choose Xerox printer and workflow solutions that help secure your data no matter where it is in the printing, scanning or storage process. Xerox multifunction printers (MFPs) enabled with ConnectKey are the first printers that protect themselves from cyberthreats. With ConnectKey technology, you can protect your MFPs just like you protect your PCs from viruses and malware. Here are some of the ways Xerox MFPs can keep your data safe:
- Keep hackers from accessing data being sent to the printer. Xerox multifunction printers enabled with ConnectKey feature automatic file encryption built right in to protect data during transmission.
- Keep hackers out of your printer’s hard drive. Xerox ConnectKey-enabled MFPs automatically overwrite the image on the hard drive once a print job is completed.
- Prevent documents from printing unattended. Enable secure printing with a Xerox MFP—it won’t print until the user enters their PIN code directly on the printer.
- Keep scanned documents safe. Scanning and digitizing documents using a multifunction printer eliminates the risks associated with paper files. But what if unauthorized people access those PDFs? Choose a Xerox MFP that offers password authorization to ensure only authorized users can access PDFs of sensitive documents. Users can even encrypt PDF files with passwords when using the Scan to Email service, so you get industry-standard protection when you’re outside your business’s firewall.
- Restrict sensitive data to authorized cloud apps. Employees might scan sensitive company data into cloud apps they use, but you haven’t authorized. Control where your data goes by choosing an MFP that helps you automate workflows so your data is safe in cloud-based apps you’ve approved.
Cyber criminals are always working on devious new ways to steal your business data. But with innovative solutions like Xerox Connect Key-enabled MFPs, you’re in control.