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Canon Security Settings: What You Need to Know

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Recently, Canon released documentation concerning how to configure security settings for the following copier models:

  • ImagePRESS Lite Color
  • ImageRUNNER ADVANCE DX Color
  • ImageRUNNER ADVANCE DX Black & White
  • ImageRUNNER ADVANCE Color
  • ImageRUNNER ADVANCE Black & White

To view the specific documentation on how to configure security settings for these models, click here.

CANON SECURITY SETTINGS, AND WHY THEY MATTER

In 2015, the NIST (National Institute for Standards of Technology) released a list of security practices and requirements that organizations must follow in order to do business with the federal government. These standards were set by IT security professionals who sought to determine how best to mitigate disasters, intrusions, and other security risks like ransom ware and phishing from affecting networks.

If you’d like to read the nitty-gritty details, you can head over to NISTs website to read the technical document here.

Essentially, the NIST guidelines state that an organization must take reasonable steps and precautions to mitigate a disaster or bad actor from reducing or completely interrupting your business’ ability to operate on your network and shared devices.

Some of the more prominent security practices are:

  • Your network and devices must be protected by a firewall and AV or EDR software
  • Your accounts and devices must verify the credentials of the user
  • Your network must have a backup system
  • Two-factor authentication is highly encouraged
  • User security awareness training is highly encouraged

There’s a lot more to it than that, but for a high level understanding, what you really need to know is that all of your networked devices must be protected.

Coincidentally, many of these standards listed above are pre-qualifications your organization must meet before being put on a cyber liability insurance plan. So, if your organization does business with government agencies or offices, or you want to be protected from financial hardship with the backing of cyber liability insurance, following the standards set by NIST is practically required. They are standards, after all.

WHY DOES MY COPIER NEED TO BE PROTECTED?

A copier is a computer with the added functionality of printing, scanning, copying, and sometimes faxing. Just like your laptop or desktop, it uses a hard drive to store information: such as your groups, emails, fax numbers, and quick-access documents.

And unless you plug a USB into your copier every time you print, your copier is networked, making it available to outside connections. This creates the perfect storm — printers, and print servers, are often “set it and forget it” pieces of network infrastructure, and as such, are rarely actively monitored for intrusion from bad actors. If an unprotected copier does fall to intrusion, ransomware can be installed on the network via the connection the copier uses, sensitive documents that are scanned, copied, or printed can be captured by bad actors, or viruses could be transferred to every device that connects to the copier.

For a bad actor, an unprotected copier is a veritable honeypot of information and user connections.

This is why copier manufacturers like Canon are constantly adding new layers of security to their devices, such as the switch from TLS1.2 to TLS 1.3.

The topic of this blog, the new security settings introduced to Canon copiers, are additional layers of protection you can add to your network to reduce the chance of a bad actor successfully stealing or holding your data for ransom.

TIPS FOR SETTING SECURITY SETTINGS ON YOUR COPIER

Balancing the needs of your network’s security against the workflow of your employees is a delicate task. However, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to make the decision process simpler:

  1. Does this copier process sensitive documents?
  2. Does this copier need to be connected to the network?
  3. How much client contact data does this copier hold?
  4. Would additional verification interrupt our workflows? Are the interruptions worth the mitigation of a security breach?
  5. Could an uninvited user access client information without being prompted to enter credentials?

Use these questions as a jumping off point to start security-based conversations in your organization.

If you’d like advice on how to configure your Canon copiers’ security settings, we’re here to talk.

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