We live in a world where information security has become a priority and a necessity.  These days there are hackers, schemers, scammers and phisers.  So Xerox has security on the brain, we are constantly updating security information and reminding you about security for your products.  We include many security features in our printers and multifunction devices and have created a new security information document to remind you of the security features and provide you information on where to get further information and assistance on all things security.  Security is important especially at this time of year with tax forms and sensitive information being printed, scanned and / or faxed at an accelerated rate as the tax deadline approaches.  But security is a daily issue and you should use all the options available to you on your printers and multifunction devices to secure your data every day.   Let’s look at a couple of these security features. 

Image Overwrite is a feature offered on Xerox copiers, printers and multifunction products that have a disk drive or other non-volatile storage.  There are 3 types of Image Overwrite that may be available on your machine. 

  • On Demand Image Overwrite – Executed as needed to remove all image data from the disk or other non-volatile storage.
  • Immediate Image Overwrite – Automatically executed immediately after jobs are completed to remove image data from the disk or other non-volatile storage.
  • Scheduled Image Overwrite – Automatic, daily overwrite of all image data from the disk or other non-volatile storage including any pending jobs.

Data Encryption is the second security feature available on many Xerox printers and multifunction products.   Most copiers and multifunction devices that have hard disks include a disk encryption feature which encrypts all stored image data with the state-of-the art AES encryption algorithm.

So what is an AES encryption?  In January of 1997, a process was initiated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a unit of the U.S. Commerce Department, to find a robust encryption standard. The specification called for a symmetric algorithm, meaning the same key would be used for encryption and decryption, using block encryption of 128 bits in size, but supporting key sizes of 128, 192 and 256 bits, at a minimum. The algorithm was required to be royalty-free for use worldwide and offer security of a sufficient level to protect data for the next 20 to 30 years. It needed to be easy to implement in hardware and software, as well as in restricted environments and offer good defenses against various attack techniques.  What they came up with was the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) a small, fast, hard to crack encryption standard that is suitable for a wide range of devices or applications. It is considered the best compromise between a combination of security, performance, efficiency, ease of implementation and flexibility.  The 128 bit AES offers a total of 3.4 x 10^38 individual keys. It is estimated that if a key generator were able to discover 1 key per second, it would take 149 thousand-billion (149 trillion) years to crack a single 128 bit AES key.  So it seems unlikely your AES encryption key could be cracked in your lifetime. 

To learn more about security and your machine please visit the Security site at Xerox.com and review the Xerox Product Security Document for more information on what security options are available on your machines.  As always you can also consult the support page for your machine to search for more information and steps for enabling or scheduling some of the security features.  Don’t forget to use Secure Print when applicable, secure print is another security feature available to you that we wrote about earlier this year.   Remember that your data security depends on you.