Technology makes an ever-increasing contribution to profitability in today's highly competitive business landscape. However, the same technology that enables high productivity in the workplace can easily be compromised if not sufficiently secured. The consequences of inadequate protection could be financial loss, identity theft, risk to intellectual property, or even fines and criminal charges in the most severe cases.
Organizations spend significant capital to protect digital assets from threats, yet frequently overlook one of the most integral devices in use today - the office Multi-Function Peripheral (MFP). The more advanced and integrated MFPs become, the greater the risk to confidential information during the document's life cycle when it is being copied, printed, scanned or faxed. For a comprehensive security strategy to be effective, it is imperative for organizations to demand a greater level of protection from MFP vulnerabilities.
Sharp was the first to address security in digital imaging and received the first Common Criteria Validation for an MFP in 2001. Even today, Sharp remains the highest rated company in validated MFP products and is regarded as one of the industry's greatest security innovators. Businesses and government agencies worldwide have come to depend on this level of assurance, which Sharp pioneered and for which it continues to set the benchmark.
An MFP is a powerful asset in your office's environment. Left unsecured however, an MFP can pose one of the greatest threats to your organization. Just consider the types of documents that are copied, printed, faxed or scanned on a daily basis - personal information, financial statements, confidential reports, e-mails, memos, customer data, and employee information.
Intellectual property, private and personal information becomes portable once processed by an MFP, and is extremely susceptible to malicious use from both internal and external threats. While not all risks to confidential information are considered malicious, the potential for significant damage from inadequate protection can be only a matter of time.
Some of the most common vulnerabilities associated with an unsecured MFP include:
- Loss of productivity
- Regulatory non-compliance
- Loss of access
- Stolen information
- Unauthorized use