I see this old, tired adage at play frequently when I visit offices and learn more about their printing environment. Whether it’s due to low volumes, reluctance to incur new costs, or just flat-out comfort factor, many businesses run their decade-plus-old copiers into the ground, much like one would an older vehicle that’s been paid for. 

That old device can become a liability down the road, and so can your obsolete copier. An outdated multi-function device might cost you more than just increased maintenance — it could be a significant security vulnerability. Many SMBs fail to recognize the copier for what it is today — just another device on the network, as susceptible to cyber-attack as an email inbox or web browser.

A recent Verizon data breach study confirmed that 43% of online attacks are now aimed at small businesses, yet only 14% prepared to defend themselves. If you’re not already, it’s time to take cyber security seriously. And copiers/printers should absolutely be a part of the security discussion.

Is the tread running low on your copier’s security capabilities?

5 Signs Your Obsolete Copiers Have Become a Security Liability

1. Data-sensitive jobs sitting on the print tray

Think documents such as payroll, bank statements, or any sensitive records that must be protected under HIPAA laws. A very basic, yet major information security risk comes from negligence on the part of the end user. They print a document, forget about it and it sits out in the open on the printer tray. The solution? User authentication – an easy solution to setup for this printer security issue. Whether it’s through user/department IDs or implementing more robust print management measures like LDAP authentication and secure print release jobs, authentication can eliminate that stack of print jobs on your copier. 

2. The firmware isn’t updating

Firmware’s are essentially the operating system for your copiers, like Apple’s IOS or PC’s Windows. And much like our phones and computers, your copier’s firmware must be updated regularly to provide security and peace of mind. Ricoh’s ACT (Always Current Technology) allows the IM series devices to be automatically updated with cutting-edge features, new functionality, and enhanced security measures on a regular basis, ensuring that each device has the latest and greatest in security and tech. 

3. Print jobs are not secure

As your print job moves from your computer to the printer, it runs the risk of being caught by a hacker. Older copiers may not even support encrypted print jobs rendering you exposed to major security issues. The good news? Ricoh devices provide both onboard and optional data protection systems to help secure the information and images stored on your device’s hard drive. Natively, they compress data into a proprietary format written to random, noncontiguous locations on the HD and store directory data separately. 

4. Your hard drive’s storing years of unsecured data

Your old printer/copier could have years’ worth of print data just sitting on the hard drive. It could be hacked, or it could still exist when you eventually get rid of the printer. Best practices, and often company policies, usually recommend that systems be 100% erased prior to being redeployed or at the end of their usable lives. The Ricoh Format feature, which comes standard on every Ricoh IM series device, DOSS (Data Overwrite Security System) completely overwrites all data stored on the hard disk with null data. 

5. You’re not monitoring print activity

If you’ve had the same copiers sitting in the office for a long time, you may not have considered print management.  By monitoring both print and scan activity, you’re not just lessening print costs – you’re also keeping a line of sight on your overall print activity.

Wrapping Up

At C.A. Reding, we help customers alleviate these challenges through best practices that control print costs and streamline print-related processes across the entire organization. We call it print management – you can call it a peace of mind. Contemplating the high mileage of your obsolete copier? Ready to make your print environment completely secure? Schedule your complimentary print assessment with C.A. Reding to get started!