How Copy Machine Hard Drives Present a Security Risk

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There Are Hard Drives in Your Copy Machines

Many computer users are accustomed to the notion of pulling or erasing a hard drive before discarding a laptop or desktop computer. Many of those same users wouldn’t even consider doing the same for a copier or other business machine. In fact, many offices will enlist disposal and other copy machine services without considering their data.

Your Copier May Have a Data Security Kit

Many copiers with drives, DRAM, and so forth have an optional kit that helps secure that data. The kit can, for instance, clear the DRAM after each operation, such as copying and scanning. If information needs to be stored on an HDD or other internal storage, encryption is an option. Encryption ensures that, without the necessary key, all of the data is useless to whoever possesses it. Many copy machines also have built-in overwrite routines that make data irretrievable. This operation can be performed before a copier is discarded, sold, or returned to a leaser.

Hard Drives Are Removable

If you need to send a machine off-site, for repair for instance, you can remove the HDD beforehand. If you’re recycling an older printer, you can remove the HDD and handle that disposal separately. If your business is selling old copiers and the like, you can remove the hard drives, use enclosures to connect them to a PC, run HDD erasing software, and finally, reattach them to their copiers.

Use a Physical Lock

If your environment calls for security cables and physical locks on computer equipment, then you should also lock your copier HDDs. Some copiers have locks built onto their HDD cages. If yours doesn’t, there are security cables available that are specifically made for this purpose. Be sure to have someone on hand with access whenever your copier is serviced, however.

Destroying an HDD Is an Option

If you lack other options, you can remove a hard drive from a copier and smash it with a hammer so that the platters are destroyed beyond repair. This may even be the preferable option if the drives are too outmoded to be of any real use to anyone.

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