“In a lot of cases, schools buy under state contracts, so they buy off a pricing sheet,” Marusic said. “If data security was not bid [for] in the first place, there’s zero chance of them actually getting it, because it’s not an approved product for purchase.”

When searching for new copiers, schools should include a data security requirement on all future requests for proposals, he said.

MAC filtering, which uses a unique address assigned to each device’s network card, is another option open to schools.

IT administrators assign certain devices to each copier, preventing unauthorized access. IT staff also are alerted when an unauthorized user attempts to gain access to the copy machine.

A third method, known as authentication, limits access to the copier on a walk-up basis. Authorized users will type in a code or use a swipe card to gain access to the copier. Marusic said the feature is usually standard on most machines but is rarely activated.

“We can continue to alert people, especially in schools … [that] you want to protect your school district from providing that kind of access to your machine,” Marusic said.

Links:

Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America.

Digital Copier Security

CBS News report


Note to readers:

Don’t forget to visit the Securing Your School from the Inside Out resource center. Today’s technology-rich schools face a growing number of threats to physical security as well as network security. Protecting student information and sensitive data and preserving students’ peace of mind in classrooms and on campus can be a daunting task. Go to:

Securing Your Campus from the Inside Out