The following is a guest blog post by Cindi Gondek, Chief Financial Officer & Principal at Advanced Copy Technologies.
In last year’s blog article… How to Keep Your Sensitive Data from Ending Up in Argentina… PrimePay discussed the security and identity theft risks related to the confidential data that is stored on digital copy machines. As a follow up to that article, we wanted to share with you the procedures that PrimePay underwent when they returned a number of their photocopy machines for newer models.
Do Digital Copy Machines Really Have Hard Drives?
Yes it’s true; the majority of new copiers do have hard drives installed in them. This is primarily why you can do so many wonderful things with these devices from printing, scanning and even storing documents on the machine. However like any hard drive, just like the one you have in your PC or MAC, data is stored there. Any time you make a copy or scan an image, that data remains on the hard drive until it is rewritten. There is a popular misconception that when you delete data or send it to the recycle bin it is gone. That is not the case. The sectors on the hard drive that contained that data are simply made available to be rewritten. Just about anyone with a little computer experience and the right software can access that data.
How Can Data on Copiers be Overwritten and Protected?
Fortunately, there are a number of vendors that provide solutions for overwriting data on digital copy machines. They are known as data overwrite/encryption kits. These kits can be purchased for new and existing copiers. Some of the benefits include:
- Overwrites data so it cannot be retrieved
- Supports the privacy and security rules set forth by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
- Assists with GLBA (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) compliance
- Aids in FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) requirements
- Common Criteria Certification (ISO 15408)
- DOD (Department of Defense) approved
- NSA (U.S. National Security Agency) approved
When PrimePay’s office machines were off of their lease and getting ready to be returned to the lease companies, a data overwrite/encryption kit was installed on each machine. A technician downloaded each kit, ran it and certified each machine individually before they were shipped out. Based on the nature of their business, PrimePay went to great measures to ensure that all their data was removed and certified. Any company can do this same thing when they return or sell their copy machines. Many new products on the market already have data overwrite/encryption software included on them. It’s a small price to pay for keeping the sensitive data on your digital copiers secure and out of the hands of those that may try and illegally access and use that information.
Advanced Copy Technologies is located in Cromwell, Connecticut. Since 1974, they have been providing office equipment and document management services to thousands of businesses across Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. Learn how printing to your multifunctional device can save your business a small fortune on supply costs.