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Printers have longer memories than you might think

Technology brings enormous benefits to today’s businesses. Unfortunately, it can also bring risks, and sometimes these risks come from the unlikeliest of sources.

Take the humble printer, for instance. Used every day, printers and multifunctional devices (MFDs) are often taken for granted. We use them to print whatever we were working on, and then forget about them. The trouble is, printers aren’t quite so quick to forget about us.

The weak link in data protection

According to Shaun Wilkinson, UK MD of document management company TA Triumph-Adler, today’s printers and MFDs are sophisticated pieces of kit, with hard drives comparable to those found on computers. “Anyone who has gone through the hair-pulling frustration of accidentally deleting something from their computer’s hard drive will probably know that with the help of the right expert, that data can be retrieved. The same is true for printers. The data they process is stored until it’s overwritten. It doesn’t simply vanish because we have finished using the printer. In other words, their data can be recovered.”

Once we understand that printers store data, the risks become obvious. Personal information relating to pupils, staff and stakeholders is vulnerable. Any data leak could cause huge reputational damage to the school as well as personal damage to individuals. There are also financial threats. Contract information, payment details, bank details… on a daily basis printers handle a wealth of information that could be exploited.

Reducing the risk

Printers don’t have to be the weak link in our armour. There are solutions out there, which can be broadly split into two main methods, both of which are available through TA Triumph-Adler’s (www.triumphadler.co.uk) convenient and easy-to-use Data Security Kits: encryption and overwrite-erase.

Encryption

If data is leaked, as long as it has been protected automatically using TA Triumph-Adler’s 128-bit and 256-bit encryption, the risk is greatly mitigated. Even if the data does end up in the wrong hands, it will be in an unreadable format, limiting the chances of it being exploited.

Overwrite-erase

The only way to permanently remove data from a hard drive is to replace it with new data and this is where TA Triumph-Adler’s overwrite-erase options come in handy. Data can be overwritten once for a speedy solution, three times for extra security or, for the ultimate option, using the ‘three passes’ method – which is so extreme it’s compliant with the United States Department of Defence’s data sanitisation standards.

Print with peace of mind

It’s important to know the threat to data protection posed by printers, and even more important to know that solutions exist. Businesses would do well to consider TA Triumph-Adler Data Security Kits, which in the run up to the introduction of GDPR will be free of charge with all of the companies printers and MFDs that are sold on managed print contracts.

Peace of mind, after all, is priceless. Tel: 01793 783298 Email: sales@triumphadler.co.uk

N.B. Please note TA Triumph-Adler Data Security Kits can aid GDPR compliancy and this content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice or to determine how GDPR compliant you are or how GDPR might apply to you and your organisation.

2018