Yes, many of your imaging devices have a memory.
It might surprise you to learn that the devices you use to copy, fax, print, email, and scan your important documents use a hard disk to store those documents. When you send your multifunction device (MFD, aka: "copier") back to your leasing company, copies of every document you printed may still be stored on that hard disk.
What happens to your equipment after it leaves your office?
It will likely be resold to another company, and with it goes all your sensitive data on that disk. This can bring tremendous legal and financial exposure to your business—not to mention the security impact of these documents being compromised. Your organization can be found in violation of government regulations. This compromise can even impact your insurance rates.
Leasing contracts usually stipulate that you are responsible for wiping the disk before you send the device back and will remind you to do so. The manufacturer will also provide you with a disk erasure program, but it may not truly wipe your disk completely. It may only tell the operating system to release the space on the disk but the files may still be there.
What is the solution? We recommend a three-step process.
Step 1: Implement a company policy that oversees the flow of all electronic devices and their memory – not just copiers and printers. The policy should state that all memory and disk drives need to be wiped and checked when their lease ends.
Step 2: Consider purchasing a security kit to wipe the entire disk of your copiers and printers. This will ensure your data can’t be accessed by anyone after the device leaves your office.
Step 3: While you’re in the process of renewing your lease, negotiate a deal with the leasing company to make it their responsibility to ensure your copier doesn’t contain any of your sensitive information when the device is resold.