BIS | Office Systems Blog


The latest insights and thoughts from BIS Office Systems.

Copiers and Security Issues


Did you know that your copiers might put you, your employees and the company at risk? Copiers hang onto sensitive data that is scanned, copied, printed, faxed and emailed by employees. That data is usually stored within the copier’s hard disk drive. If your employees are scanning or printing information that is sensitive in nature, you need to implement a copier policy to keep your data secure.


But how does a copier take that information?

Most work copiers have a hard disk drive which is necessary to manage and control tasks and jobs sent to the copier. These types of copiers, referred to as “digital copiers” are more productive and high-tech than the average at-home copier, which usually does not contain a hard drive. The hard drive in work copiers stores images of every document, whether you are scanning, faxing, copying or emailing a document.


How can someone steal that stored data?

As the digital age progresses, so does the intelligence of hackers. These hackers have discovered a way to extract this sensitive data either remotely or after the hard drive had been removed and replaced. This extraction software is available online, for free. Many times, work copiers are leased, used and then returned for a new copier through a third-party office systems company, such as BIS Office Systems. When a copier is returned to the leasing company, those hard drives get replaced and or stay on the old copier, meaning anyone could buy a copier containing birth certificates, social security numbers, bank records, income statements and much more from a past company. Copiers can also get leased by one company, returned then sold to another copier. So knowing how to extra your company’s data and protect it is extremely important to protecting your business.


So what can I do?

Create a data security plan for when you are leasing, buying and returning your copiers. This plan should be understood by all employees and added to your company’s security policy program. Make sure every employees understand how document data is stored and how the company will protect that data from hackers. If your business uses an IT company or your business has its own IT staff, these security experts should be the ones in charge of your copier data. They will have the knowledge and expertise to keep your company data safe and secure.


If you do not employ and IT staff or third-party IT Company, we highly recommend you do so. But if you want to try to protect your business data yourself here is what you need to know:

  1. When you buy or lease a copier, make sure to ask the manufacturer or office systems company what data security features are available. Sometimes these security features are standard or optional. Usually one of two types of data security protections are put in place:

1.       Encryption: You have most likely heard of this word before. It describes the method of scrambling data using a code so that data can never be extracted remotely or straight from the hard drive.

2.       Overwriting: This method wipes files by overwriting existing data with random characters. This makes is very difficult for the old files to be translated.


 If the copier does not come with data security, make a plan for how to dispose of data and that everyone in the company understands that copiers cannot be returned until the data is wiped.


Make sure you ask the manufacturer which security features comes with your copier and if it will be an add-on you need to purchase. Additionally, talk to the copier leasing company to see how they dispose of old hard drives or if you can keep the hard drive once the copier is returned. Make sure that is an agreement in writing before you lease a copier.


Your IT staff should handle all data security issues, and if you do not have IT support, you should make a copier policy and plan to remove all existing data before the copier is returned, or even to clear data after every use. Security education is one of the most important aspects to running a company. It is your responsibility to keep company data safe and away from hackers with malicious intentions.


At BIS Office Systems, we can assist you in creating a copier and printer policy and make sure your data is safely removed and destroyed after your leasing agreement is up. We understand the need for security and it is our goal to give companies productive, efficient and safe office equipment. Call us today to have a free consultation about leasing or buying our copiers and printers and we can help you move your business forward.


Call: 251- 476-3113 or visit our website to learn more.






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