Printer Industry Called to Action – CBS Follows Up on Copier Security Investigation

— Submitted by Larry Kovnat, product security manager, Xerox Corporation

Yesterday, the CBS Evening News aired a follow up story to its April 19 segment discussing copier security, further spotlighting a topic that has been a Xerox focus for many, many years: how to keep data safe on our customers’ printers and MFPs. Information security is priority one for Xerox. Because of this commitment, we build a variety of features into our machines to help safeguard information. For example, many Xerox printers and MFPs offer the Image Overwrite Option which electronically “shreds” information contained on the hard disk of the machine while extensive use of encryption on both the disk and the wire protect information in transit or at rest. Additional security options available on Xerox equipment include Network Authentication, Secure Print and the Xerox Secure Access Unified ID System which work together to protect information. Furthermore, we work with customers to ensure they understand not only the risks associated with data when returning machines, but their options on ridding the hard drive of data.   Here are a few things to consider when making an MFP purchase or disposing of a used machine:

•    Businesses should work with their vendor to identify their specific security needs. Xerox works directly with its customers to identify where their information resides, how it is transferred and detect the greatest areas of risk.

•    Choose devices that offer both disk overwrite and encryption and make sure they are enabled. Xerox includes both features standard in many of its products – while many of our competitors charge extra.

•    Before disposing of or trading in old equipment you should check the manufacturer’s product documentation to best understand the steps to wipe the disk. If an overwrite feature was not offered or never installed, make use of our hard disk removal service.

•    Customers returning a Xerox MFP that contains a hard drive should run an on-demand image overwrite before returning the machine or have the disk removed.

•    If your business is using an older MFP, make sure the security features available are enabled. If the features were never installed or are no longer available, have the disk removed.

We’ve placed additional information regarding our security features on the Xerox security website. Also, to find out if your Xerox product contains a hard disk and comes with overwrite capability and/or disk encryption, Xerox offers a reference guide.     I’d love to continue the conversation in the comments, please share your thoughts.

Larry Kovnat, product security manager, Xerox Corporation

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