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Limiting Device Access Limits Potential Security Breaches

By Robert Covington

Do you ever ask yourself why you lock a car when you go into the store, or lock the front door when leaving your house for the day? Protecting personal valuables is just second nature.

Businesses have valuables to protect as well. And it’s not just the material things. It can be trade secrets, confidential emails, or printed documents that in the wrong hands can cause irreparable harm.

Controlling access to who can print documents is a security measure worthy of consideration; and preventing those documents from printing until the sender is physically there to retrieve them is also a good policy.

Secure your device by authenticating users

The concept of “access security” is nothing new to business. Today , many businesses, large and small, require employees wear ID badges and present them to access the building.

This same badge that grants an employee building admittance can also control individual access to the office multifunction printer (MFP). One can print documents from a PC or mobile device as they regularly would, but instead of documents simply laying in the exit tray until the sender retrieves them, they’re held until that user walks up to the device and swipes their badge on the MFP card reader. Then jobs are printed on the spot.

This prevents print jobs from maliciously falling into the wrong hands or, a more likely scenario of someone gazing at them while they’re at the MFP waiting for their own job. Then there’s always the user that grabs all the paper in the tray and inadvertently that walks off with someone else’s documents.

Although it adds another level of data protection, it’s not necessary to require access badges. Simple passwords to authenticate the user at the device can be applied instead.

In heightened security environments a “two-factor” authentication approach can be applied by using both badges and a passwords. MFPs can house the directory of authorized users, but for larger deployments with multiple MFPs and a large number of users, it may make more sense to centralize the directory on the network server.

Assessing who actually needs access

Many surveys have revealed that printing-related expenditures are the greatest for an IT department, yet least managed. A good access security policy considers an employee’s role within the organization and their need to access areas within the building or even features within the MFP.

Two questions you should consider with Role Based Access Control (RBAC):

1. Does this person need to be in this area/department to print?

2. Do they need to print, copy, scan, or fax to do their job effectively?

If the answer to these MFP-related access questions is “Yes,” then access rights are set within the directory.

The next logical question is, should there be any limits? Not necessarily, but now that we know who’s printing, we can easily identify how much they’re printing and if necessary cap usage based on a per-user basis. The notion of quotas or caps just help keep expenses from going wildly unchecked.

Security, cost-savings and more. Oh my!

As security concerns continue to heighten, and business expenses rise as well, the concepts of access security and role-based access control grow in popularity too. New technology has made this easy to enable on Toshiba’s MFPs and provides more benefits to the users than just security and cost savings.

Access security makes more sense than ever. Just as one would secure their personal valuables, that same consideration should be applied on the job as second nature. Securing your business documents is just as important.

A well implemented access security policy will aide in managing printing-related expenses too. When considering implementing access security on your MFPs list out your goals and objectives and consult with a Toshiba document management specialist. They are aware of the latest technologies available that can secure your printing environment and help best manage printing related expenses.

Read here for more on Toshiba’s security protocols.

 

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