How GDPR affects your MFP

Posted In Weaver Bomfords Blog   |   22nd November 2017

From May 2018, the GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation comes into force, meaning companies must protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or risk heavy fines. 

Although most of the focus is on online data, companies should also be making sure that physical data is protected.  In 2017, more than 80% of companies have reported concerns about the loss of printed documents, with 61 % reporting actual losses in the past year.  To comply fully with GDPR, you should think about what happens to the information that you copy, print and scan.

At Weaver Bomfords, we offer a wide range of print security solutions that can help with GDPR compliance.  These include print management software to control user access, authentication options to make sure printed documents don’t fall into the wrong hands, data encryption kits to make sure scanned, copied and printed data is overwritten on the device, mobile print Apps that allow visitors to print securely whilst still monitoring usage, and cloud storage solutions to capture, store and retrieve business documents safely and securely.

The threat from your MFP

Physical:  MFPs can print, copy, fax, scan and store documents in seconds.  They can also copy them to an easily concealed USB memory stick or distribute them via email and fax to any destination. They are often located in unsecured areas and are accessible to multiple people, so confidential information can be deliberately or accidentally copied from stored documents, or taken from the output tray and scanned or faxed without authorisation.

Network: MFPs are usually connected to the network and unless correctly configured, could enable unauthorised access.  In addition, data stored on the hard drive or in the memory can be compromised, altered or stolen.  In extreme cases it would also be possible for the device to be used to put a virus on your network, unleash a phishing attack or to launch a denial of service attack.

Secure your printing and copying network

Securing your print network is all about controlling the end-to-end workflow from the time a user presses print or walks up to the device.  Key infrastructure, such as print servers and MFPs, need to be correctly configured. Although Print Management solutions can play an important role in helping build a secure print environment there are other simple steps, including control of scanning and documents stored at the device, that will improve data security.

Stop unwanted printouts

It’s not uncommon for organisations to throw away hundreds of documents left uncollected on printer trays each day. This a) isn’t very green and b) is a security concern.  Documents can often contain personal information and so need to be properly looked after. Follow-Me or Secure Print Release is a simple and proven solution; documents are not actually printed until the user walks up to the printer and authenticates themselves.

Scan and store documents safely

If a document is scanned directly from an MFP, there is very often no audit trail and so no control of the data. There are simple ways to limit how documents can be scanned and stored in your business.  Don’t allow documents be scanned directly from your MFP or onto a flash drive. Control access to your shared folder structure and to documents stored on the hard drive of any devices. Consider what happens to that hard drive when your device reaches the end of its life and make sure it’s correctly disposed of. The correct configuration of your devices, or a properly implemented solution will make sure that none of these issues become a problem.

Your responsibilities

The GDPR puts obligations on all organisations to take data privacy seriously and protect the rights of their users. This responsibility extends across the spectrum of IT systems, including the print and copy network.

Find out more about making your print network compliant by taking advantage of our free security audit. Contact us on 03456 123858 for more information or get in touch with one of our experts

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