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Is Your Data Safe Given Fax Security Breach?

Is Your Data Exposed With the Presence of a Fax Modem?

There’s been conversation in the news about the reliability of multi-functional printers (MFPs) faxing capability. With Check Point Software Technologies’ researchers finding how cyber criminals can hack into a business with an Hewlett-Packard (HP) MFP, many businesses are now fearful of how secure their faxing machines really are.

Businesses and organizations, don’t be afraid; Check Point’s findings are merely a concept that has, yet, to be acted upon.

With Xerox’s and Lexmark’s focus on security, being hacked through your faxing machine should be the least of your worries. A common question about networked MFPs is “Are they exposed to intruders with the presence of a fax modem?” The concern is that an intruder can dial in to the MFP through the fax modem and manipulate the device or somehow gain access to the network to which it is connected.

The reality is, there is no exposure through a fax modem or network access on Xerox or Lexmark MFPs. How is this? While, HP’s MFPs have one controller for both the printer and fax, Xerox and Lexmark, have two controllers, one for the printer and one for fax. Because of this separation, there is no interconnection between the public telephone network and the internal network.

Additionally, here is a list of reasons why the presence of a fax modem on an MFP device with a network adapter does not expose security.

  • The modem is configured to send and receive fax only, not data.
  • The modem’s configuration is limited and controlled by the MFP’s firmware. The MFP firmware does not allow arbitrary data to be exchanged over the fax modem; only facsimile data representing page images can be exchanged.
  • The avenues by which the MFP’s firmware can be updated are secured. Plus, unauthorized firmware and software cannot be loaded in the MFP.
  • All these factors prevent the interaction of the fax modem and network adapter hardware from exposure to security threats.

Xerox and Lexmark devices operate independently on networks, which means that, like networked computers and servers, they are capable of distributing sensitive information. Do you have additional questions regarding the security of your devices? Contact us!

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