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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How to Prepare Your Paper Files for Electronic Document Management

Kam Roshan

Posted by Kam Roshan
Thu, Feb 23, 2017

Sometime in the future, when paper documents have disappeared and gone the way of cuneiform written on clay tablets, paper may be relegated to museums alongside papyrus and parchment.

But for now, mountains of paper documents still occupy many offices, and must be converted to digital form in order to reap the many benefits of a document management solution (DMS).

Often, implementing a DMS involves preparing large amounts of paper documents for subsequent scanning and indexing. Of these three steps — document preparation, scanning and indexing — the most labor intensive is the prep.

And, because it can save an enterprise significant time and money, proper planning and careful pre-scanning document preparation deserves its own blog post. Scanning and indexing will be discussed in a future post.

Keep reading for more info about the 3 key steps for successfully preparing paper documents to be loaded into your electronic content management system.

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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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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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MFP vs Desktop Printer: Which is better for your office printing needs?

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Tue, Feb 23, 2016

The multifunction printer (MFP) has greatly improved document management, workflow and office efficiencies, but desktop printers can still be found at some workstations. In fact, despite the many technological advantages of the MFP, the desktop printer hasn't completely disappeared from the modern office environment. 

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Business Continuity Planning: Don't settle for satisficing

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Tue, Jan 12, 2016

When choosing or creating a business continuity plan suitable for your organization, “satisficing” is not a viable option.

Simply put, satisficing is accepting an available option as satisfactory. The trouble with that is, when your business continuity plan only reaches satisfactory levels, you are choosing to sacrifice your company’s ability to deliver products or services in the event of a disaster or disruptive incident. So, when thinking of your company’s long-term success and all of the hard work that was put into it, settling for satisficing could be disasterous.

Read on for ways you can protect your data and choose the best partner to assist in creating an ideal business continuity plan for your organization.

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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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End of Support for Internet Explorer: What You Need to Know

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Wed, Dec 09, 2015

Microsoft will officially end support for older versions of its Internet Explorer (IE) browser on January 12th, 2016. This includes Internet Explorer version 10 and earlier. This means that anyone still using older versions of IE after the end-of-life date on the 12th will be susceptible to security holes, as Microsoft will no longer provide patches or updates for the antiquated browser versions. 

Read on for more information about End of Support for older versions of Internet Explorer, and actions you should take to ensure security.

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How Much Copier Speed Do You Need?

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Tue, Dec 08, 2015

One of the most important qualities of a printer/copier is ppm or pages per minute. It’s not the only factor, not by a longshot. But, copy speed is certain to be heavily factored in when deciding on which copier, or multifunction printer (MFP), to lease or buy.

Much like an automobile’s horsepower, top printer speed is not always utilized, but it’s nice to have it when it’s needed. On the other hand, do you really need to lease a Corvette when most of your driving occurs within a radius of 10 miles or less, on city streets?

For now, let’s take an objective look at MFP ppm speed. We'll start with one question: is faster always better?

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4 of My Favorite Marketing Channels for Small Businesses on a Budget

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Thu, Oct 01, 2015

As we all know, marketing is vital to the success of any business. The way a company is marketed creates its brand personality and determines how the world will view the company, as a whole.

SMAC is the idea that four technologies —Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud — are currently driving business innovation. These emerging technologies are creating huge disruption throughout countless industries. For example, Uber and Lyft's success leveraging SMAC has not only disrupted the transportation industry, but also related industries such as insurance and manufacturing.

The most important thing to note is that while SMAC does impact specific industries, it is also proving to be disruptive to traditional business practices. This includes the proven methods businesses have relied on for decades to market and promote their brands, products and services. For most big brands, this disruption is more of an inconvenience or a challenge than an issue. Why? Because they have ample resources to set, or at least keep up with, the pace. On any given day, a large company's marketing budget can easily stretch into millions of dollars, if not billions.

What if you don’t have that kind of money? No Problem! There are several ways to leverage disruption, promote your business, and expand your clientele without emptying your pockets. 

Below are my top four favorite marketing channels for small businesses:

  1. Social Media
  2. Email
  3. Referral Programs
  4. Business Partnerships

Let’s take a closer look at each of these options, shall we?

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About this blog

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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