Partner Perspectives: Xerox Business Printers – What Does Benchmark Security Mean?

Editor’s note: This post was was originally published by Xerox channel partner Kelley Imaging. Visit their website to see more of their content.

In today’s busy offices, cybersecurity is more important than ever.

The proliferation of advanced equipment, new business technologies, and mobile devices has vastly increased the productivity of the modern office environment. At the same time, it has introduced new risks and threat vectors that employees on all levels need to be aware of.

Organizations that invest in Xerox technology earn more than best-in-class performance and state-of-the-art connectivity. They also enjoy the benefits of benchmark security performance through the combination of purpose-built hardware and Xerox ConnectKey software.

Which Xerox Business Printer is the Most Secure?

Xerox does not scale its cybersecurity solutions. That means that purchasing a larger, more expensive multifunction device does not necessarily provide you with better security features.

All Xerox VersaLink Printers have uniform security features through embedded ConnectKey software technology. The same industry-leading security features go into the low-cost VersaLink B400 as in the high-volume VersaLink B-7000series printers.

Xerox includes ConnectKey software with all of its new printers and multifunction devices. This technology offers comprehensive protection for print devices in today’s Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) work environment.

Why Is Printer Security Important?

Most office print, copy, and scan devices operate on unsecured networks. In order to make installation as easy as possible, office IT personnel often skip important steps when securing new printer permissions and instead leave it in its default security state – trusting all print commands it receives, regardless of source.

This approach makes life easy for employees, who do not like having to authenticate prints every time they need a physical document. However, it introduces a critical vulnerability in the office security network. Since print traffic is exposed, a hacker does not need to access a workstation computer to extract sensitive data – it’s all there in the print queue.

Up to 44 percent of network-connected printers in offices and workplaces are insecure from this point of view. The best way to address the issue is by making benchmark security standard in the printer and multifunction device industry.

How Xerox ConnectKey Security Works

It is a well-known fact that employees tend to resent production bottlenecks, like print authentication. In the office environment, this usually takes the form of a user-specific password assigned to each employee. The problem is that employees already have dozens of passwords to remember – equipment manufacturers cannot just keep asking people to remember more passwords.

Xerox ConnectKey uses RFID technology to authenticate prints. Using this method, employees who send print commands to a Xerox business printer only obtain the document once they are physically present at the device and scan their RFID card.

Until RFID scan occurs, the device’s print queue is encrypted and remains securely stored on the device, away from the prying eyes of potential cybercriminals. After the device completes the print process, it securely deletes the encrypted file from its hard drive, making unauthorized recovery impossible.

The same set of benchmark security capabilities applies to preventing unauthorized access of device firmware, and misuse of printer resources. One of the innovative security features that ConnectKey offers is the ability for each printer to verify its own firmware on startup. This allows process owners to catch and quarantine printer-installed malware before it threatens the integrity of the entire business enterprise.

Xerox Business Printer Security in Action

For an example of how ConnectKey security works, consider an employee printing customer invoices. These invoices contain sensitive information, including customer financial data and personal information including names and addresses. A cybercriminal could use this information to compromise customer security and it would be the organization’s fault.

If the customer invoice is located on the employee’s smartphone, most printer systems would have to accept all incoming traffic in order to print the document. If the organization in question does not have a robust BYOD policy, it is only a matter of time before someone sees sensitive, unprotected traffic on the network.

However, with a Xerox VersaLink business printer, employees can securely print from their mobile devices using the included RFID scanning system to authenticate print orders. The documents would remain securely encrypted on the device’s hard drive until authentication occurs – at which point the employee can pick up the invoice and send it onwards.

An additional benefit of this approach is that Xerox multifunction devices eliminate print room bottlenecks. By associating each print order with an RFID scan, employees rarely have to wait for other print orders to finish. The printer is no longer a first-come-first-serve device, but a secure business productivity solution.

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