Protecting your identity and information is paramount: whether personal or professional, banking information or intellectual property. For IT professionals, who are most often the ones responsible for securing this information, this is a continuously daunting task with financial and confidentiality concerns at stake.

Organizational data breaches averaged $3.86 million per leak in 2020, according to a report from IBM and the Ponemon Institute. Manufacturer Norsk Hydro claims its breach affected all 35,000 employees in 40 countries — and the bill for this cyberattack may run as high as $75 million1.

Unfortunately, securing information isn’t a one-time process.  Hackers are more ingenious now than ever, and ongoing security maintenance is necessary to keep up as access points expand.

Print security is a prominent element to side-stepping a data breach: a networked multifunction printer (MFP) or copier fleet is an entry point for hackers. Each device within a fleet must be treated as an access point and protected as such. Luckily, that’s not a daunting task.

These 3 main actions can help IT staff stay one step ahead:

1. Ensure print devices include the latest security patch.

2. Create organizational policies for authentication, password management, data encryption and auditing.

3. Most importantly, ensure all employees are trained and corporate policies are

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Monitor your system for security settings such as authentication, network settings, and document encryption, to ensure company security policies are adhered to.

Automate security breech detections and repair functions.

Plan notifications sent by your security software for real-time monitoring.

Avoiding Monstrous Breaching Costs

Complying with such notable regulatory security standards as HIPAA and FERPA is another vital box IT staff must check.  Not doing so exposes companies to federal lawsuits and extremely high fines.  Aetna paid $1 million last October to settle a trio of HIPAA violations.

Data encryption is yet another foundational element for safeguarding data residing on a print device since most copier hard drives store information that has been printed, scanned or copied.  Whether communicated on the network wired/wirelessly or to the cloud, encrypting this information to the latest standard will help your business remain secure.

Toshiba deploys unique elements across its award-winning e-STUDIO MFP line including proprietary self-encrypting drives (SED) and BIOS protection to shield the confidentiality of personally identifiable information (PII) and protected healthcare information (PHI).  Beyond overwriting information, our SEDs additionally invalidate data stolen or removed from the MFP.

Late last December, the United States cybersecurity agency reported hackers using U.S. tech firm SolarWinds as a springboard to penetrate federal government as well as private sector networks.  The breach occurred during an automatic software update. Toshiba’s  e-BRIDGE CloudConnect paired with our firmware encryption proactively addresses and prevents such scenarios.

Protect Against Digital Home Invaders  

Much like work schedules are evolving with so many people now working from home,  network security measures are similarly progressing.  This current dynamic makes securing devices employees use at their home office just as important as the ones at corporate. However, securing remote devices is a new challenge for many IT professionals.

Fortunately, there are highly effective and relatively simple (and some aforementioned) steps IT departments can take to secure home and office print networks:

• Policy-based monitoring.
• Changing default passwords for all devices.
• Disable unused network protocols and ports.
• Frequent device hardware patching.
• Avoid connecting printers directly to the internet.
• And, encrypt data!

Lastly, approach your New Year fleet security planning and implementation just as earnestly as your 2021 business plan. Your management, clients, shareholders and employees may thank you for this next January when your company’s information was again airtight for the calendar year.