*NEWS*WILL HACKERS TARGET COPIERS ?

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*NEWS*WILL HACKERS TARGET COPIERS ?

 user 2005-11-17 at 11:25:00 am Views: 89
  • #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
    “Network-connected
    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
    protected.
    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.
    While
    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.
    Charles
    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.
    Among
    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.
    Boosting Attention
    The
    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
    Wayne
    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.
    Having
    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.
    Lyle
    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
    burgeoning volume.
    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