Step No. 2: Secure the Device

By Michael Howard  |  Posted 2010-11-23 Print this article Print

Step No. 2: Secure the device

Many people do not know that many imaging and printing devices have a hard disk that is similar to the hard drive in your computer. That means every piece of information in a print job or associated with a print job can end up on an unprotected hard disk-especially if a device does not have a file erase feature enabled that will delete this information after the print job is completed. These hard disks can store hundreds to thousands of documents that can be saved for years.

You should also consider this if the printer or MFP is sent out for repairs or a repair technician comes into the office. When you replace a printer or MFP, what happens to the old device? An unprotected hard disk with stored information is the equivalent of allowing your server to be taken out of your business.

The first step to securing the device is to encrypt the data on the hard disk. Even if someone tried to access the disk, encryption would prevent them from reading the data stored on it. The next step is erasing the data after a document has been printed to prevent the data from being unnecessarily stored and potentially accessed-this can be enabled at installation.

Many solutions offer flexible options, including setting a schedule that automatically deletes the hard disk by either erasing it file by file or removing the contents entirely. This is especially helpful when sending a printer out of the building to be repaired or returning it at the end of a lease.

Michael Howard is Worldwide Business Development Manager for the Security Solutions organization of HP's Imaging and Printing Group. With more than 25 years of experience in the security and high technology field, Michael is responsible for educating customers on the importance of security policies and procedures around imaging and printing, as well as working with the HP Labs. He can be reached at

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