The Meridian Blog: Tech News, Tips & More for SMB and Enterprise Environments

An Overlooked Threat to Network Security: Don't forget about your printers

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Dec 05, 2017


Fringe devices, such as printers, can pose some of the biggest security risks, if not properly managed.

When it comes to IT security, most business professionals today think about their desktop computers — as they should. But our smartphones, tablets and PCs are not the only devices on our networks that can compromise critical infrastructure.

A few months ago, the Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDOS) attack on Dyn Inc.'s Domain Name Server marked an unprecedented level of cyber intrusion, causing widespread website availability issues throughout the East Coast. This disruption shed light on some of the major vulnerabilities within Internet-of-Things devices, including those that we tend to overlook, such as printers. 

Keep reading for:

  • a quick video on why you should care about printer security, courtesy of Christian Slater and HP Studios
  • key factors that come into play for the overlooked threat of printer security
  • what you can do to overcome the risk and secure your printers
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Be Prepared: Avoid Data Disasters with Backup and Disaster Recovery Planning

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Feb 14, 2017

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and when it comes to information technology, Murphy was an optimist.

Data is at the heart of any modern organization. If critical data is lost due to accident, database corruption, theft, hardware failure, or even natural disaster, business continuity can come to a halt. Data backup and disaster recovery may not be at the top of the list of topics for discussion at the company picnic, but maybe it should be.

Because data is the heart of any enterprise, it's crucial to protect it and be able to recover data that gets lost or corrupted despite your best protective measures.

Read on for:

  1. Why backing up your data matters
  2. What data should be backed up
  3. How data should be backed up
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Unsecured File Sharing is Risky Business

Erjon Xhepa

Posted by Erjon Xhepa
Mon, Jan 09, 2017

File sync-and-share apps have become increasingly popular with enterprises, both small and large.

In some organizations, the ability to share and edit electronic documents is essential to their operations. Used properly, file sharing can enhance productivity, creativity, and collaboration. Used improperly, it can cause data security nightmares.

Hackers and other cyber crooks are always looking for the weak spot in any network security system. They're constantly probing and testing firewalls and antivirus software, or going on “phishing” expeditions looking for victims. But, sometimes, they get lucky and an unsecured document or email just drops into their laps.

RELATED: Is Antivirus Software Really Dead?

A mistake in peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing can result in anything from a slight inconvenience to a major security breach. As a member of Meridian’s VCIO Team, I consider secure file sharing to be a top priority. In this post, I'll explain why it should be one of your top priorities, too.

Read on to learn more about:

  1. Key points that should be included in your policy for secure file sharing
  2. Risks associated with unsecured file sharing
  3. Advantages of secure file sharing practices
  4. Guidelines to help determine who should be responsible for preventing unsecured file sharing in your organization
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How to Avoid and Reduce Paper Jams in Your Printer and Copier

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Jun 28, 2016

Modern copiers and MFPs are one of the marvels of the digital age...it may sound silly, but I don’t say that lightly. Not too long ago, office copy rooms used offset presses. After a day of squeezing tubes of ink onto rollers, we'd all have a greater appreciation for today's advanced bizhubs.

Although office print solutions have evolved, they still share one main ingredient with their predecessors: paper

That said, there are some basic paper properties that anyone who has ever loaded an empty printer paper tray should learn:

  • Curl
  • Weight
  • Grain
  • Caliper
  • Moisture content

Why are these things relevant to you? It's simple — understanding these factors is the key to producing high-quality print jobs, with the lowest instance of jamming or malfunction. Read on to get started reducing your printing headaches!

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The Top 5 Most Popular Office Technology Blog Posts of 2015

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Tue, Jan 05, 2016

As we spring into the New Year, one of the best ways to ring in 2016 is to recap a few of the most popular posts published on our blog in the previous year. 2015 brought many successes and steady growth for the Meridian family. We showcased everything from ways small to midsized businesses can benefit from vCIO services, techniques that allow your business to “go green” to ensure environmental sustainability, along with a host of other blogs, which gave comprehensive access to information that could benefit you and your organization.

Most of our blog posts are aimed at answering questions we commonly hear from clients and prospects. Read on to take a look at the five most popular blog posts of 2015 — you may just find some answers to questions you've been wondering about, or ones you haven't even thought of yet!

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Best Practices for Secure, Responsible Disposal of Computers & Devices

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Wed, Dec 23, 2015

Many people will purchase or receive new computers and devices this holiday season. In fact, according to ForbesIDC predicts the worldwide smart connected device market will accelerate past 2 billion units by the end of 2015. If you're among the lucky owners of new computers and devices this year, you or your company may be planning to get rid of the old computers or devices, which have been replaced by newer versions. If so, I urge you to do so with caution!

Along with a collection of potentially harmful toxins, computers and other connected devices house vital information including passwords, registration numbers, account information, addresses, telephone numbers, and a host of other private information. Your hard drive is a goldmine for identity thieves and it is important to use proven methods to wipe this data from existence, before disposing of devices. Simply throwing the devices or their hard drives away could potentially cause more harm than good.

Below, we reveal the proper techniques to dispose of computers and devices, guard against identity theft, and protect the environment:

  1. Backup significant files and information
  2. Sanitize your hard drive
  3. Dispose of your computer

Read on to learn more about each step.

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5 HIPAA Compliance Best Practices and How MSPs Keep DC SMBs Compliant

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Mar 10, 2015

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) protects health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs. Unprotected health information can be a tempting target for hackers and other data thieves as illustrated by the recent data attacks on Anthem, one of the largest health insurers in the US.

In 2003, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized its HIPAA security rule to provide organizations with “administrative, physical and technical guidelines” to safeguard protected health information (PHI). The Privacy Rule addresses the use and disclosure of individuals’ health information by organizations subject to the Rule, called “covered entities.” Within HHS, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has the responsibility for implementing and enforcing the Privacy Rule with respect to voluntary compliance activities and civil money penalties, ranging from $100 to as much as $1.5 million. The law also allows for criminal penalties of up to 10 years in prison for HIPAA privacy violations.

With so much at stake, many large medical and health enterprises, particularly those with their own IT departments have dedicated HIPAA specialists whose primary task is to guard against any kind of HIPAA non-compliance. Some smaller businesses, especially medical practices, without a resident IT HIPAA specialist are partnering with a trusted Managed Services Provider (MSP) to ensure HIPAA compliance. HIPAA compliance requires a concentrated team effort and attention to detail.

Here are five essential best practices for HIPAA compliance:

  1. Perform a Protected Health Information Inventory
  2. Evaluate Your Security Policies
  3. Conduct a Risk Analysis
  4. Plan for Contingencies
  5. Have an Incident Response Policy and a Disaster Recovery Plan

Read on to learn more about how you can implement each of these compliance best practices.

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News, best practices and more to help you get the most out of your office technology. Whether you're an SMB owner who wears a lot of hats, or an enterprise IT director, facilities manager or just someone who wants to work smarter — this blog has the resources you need to maximize the business impact of all your tech investments. Be sure to subscribe to receive email updates about new posts!

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