*NEWS*WILL HACKERS TARGET COPIERS ?
*NEWS*WILL HACKERS TARGET COPIERS ?
2005-11-17 at 11:25:00 am #13049
Will Hackers Target Copiers?
Any networked office gear can be vulnerable to online attackers, some warn., November , 2005
You might think you’ve heard about every possible security vulnerability in your network, but what about your copiers?
Securing Net Devices
output devices are becoming an absolute primary target of people,
foreign and domestic, who are penetrating networks,” according to Jim
Joyce, senior vice president for office services at Xerox Global
Services. “The reason for that is many of them are large devices with
large disk drives, with a fair amount of memory and are network
connected and are not secure. This laptop [I'm using for this
presentation] is probably ten times more secure than any of the output
devices we have in our environments today.”
Joyce, speaking Tuesday
at the two-day Office Document Solutions conference in Boston, was
among a number of presenters who implored makers of printers, copiers,
scanners, and other such devices to start thinking about more than just
selling boxes to customers.
Joyce said during an interview after his
speech that Xerox has poured some $20 million in recent years into
technologies to better manage office and document systems and is
putting a particular emphasis on security these days. He noted that
some machines, such as multifunction devices, might have several
operating systems in them that could provide security holes if not
Look for Xerox in the months to come to deliver more in
the way of technologies that would enable document systems to be able
to identify content so that companies can better prevent intellectual
property and other confidential data from getting swiped. Xerox’s Palo
Alto Research Center has been working on such technologies, Joyce said.
Tackling the Problem
Meanwhile, other office document product vendors said they too are looking to go beyond just dumping boxes on their customers.
the term “solutions” might qualify as the single-most overused word in
the IT industry over the years, presenters embraced it as a fresh
concept capable of bringing new life to their industry.
Pesko, a director at InfoTrends/CAP Ventures, greeted attendees at the
consulting and research firm’s event by stating that the U.S. copier
market is maturing and that “solutions” are the answer to revenue
growth. Not only do solutions–in the form of software, support and
maintenance–offer revenue opportunities themselves, but vendors that
succeed here will also see a rise in hardware sales. For every dollar
in solutions sold, a company will sell $4 or $5 of hardware along with
it, he said.
“A lot of people just don’t get that yet,” he said.
the biggest opportunities are document capture and creation, document
management and document output management, said Joel Mazza, another
InfoTrends/CAP Ventures director.
A panel of vendor representatives
from Konica Minolta, Ricoh, Sharp Electronics and Toshiba America
Business Solutions agreed that solutions are the way to go, but said it
is difficult to change overnight given that the hardware business is
worth tens of billions a year whereas the solutions market is a sliver
of that. Most of them said they are not making money on solutions so
far, but consider their efforts in software, support and more as an
investment that will pay off in the long run.
Bill Brewster, vice
president of marketing for Konica Minolta Business Solutions, said that
every bid proposal his company gets includes a demand for at least one
of four solutions offerings, such as security, device management,
document management or workflow. The fact that delivering solutions can
help sell boxes isn’t a bad thing, he said, but emphasized that vendors
need to commit to developing strong software and support offerings to
make the solutions attractive.
vendors also acknowledged they need to address how to encourage
value-added resellers and other channel partners to sell the software
given that current compensations systems are largely hardware oriented
Lyle, IS director for the east coast law firm Preti Flaherty, shared
with attendees his organization’s experiences making strategic use of
office document systems. Over the past few years the firm, which has 80
attorneys in five offices, has rolled out software from eCopy and
Interwoven to streamline handling of documents as well as voice mail,
e-mail, and even dictation. The system has enabled attorneys and their
assistants to scan documents into a network system that allows for easy
access and secure storage of documents that previously would have been
stuffed in filing cabinets or stored elsewhere. “We feared electronic
images were just going to explode and nothing would be there to control
what we were doing,” said Lyle, who works in Portland, Maine.
a document management system in place has been particularly important
given the rise of regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA. Even
though those rules wouldn’t typically apply to a law firm, Preti
Flaherty is a full-service outfit that works with healthcare and other
businesses that do have to stick to those rules. “We get hit with those
regulations from all sides because our clients do,” Lyle said.
said in an interview following his presentation that the firm’s system
handles roughly 1.5 million documents (largely in Word) and requires a
couple hundred gigabytes of storage. But he foresees a time not far off
when the law firm will need to split its master database to handle
On the broader issue of office document system
vendors needing to go beyond offering just boxes, Lyle said he is all
for it and noted that the integration between his scanning, document
management, and office equipment played a key role in his purchase
decisions. Partnerships between vendors are important given the variety
of office equipment at most companies and the specific needs of
organizations in different vertical markets. “I just hope it’s more
than talk,” he said