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How to keep documents secure


Whether it’s a customer address, employee record, bank account number or medical ID, handling customer data is a priority for companies.

This is true for information that needs to be printed, copied, scanned or stored digitally, but there are thankfully plenty of layers of defence businesses can call upon.

Here are some of the most effective ways to keep documents secure in your company.


Choose the right printers

The multifunction printers of today have security features built in that help secure both the device and the data it processes.

When procuring printers, it’s smart to look for devices that carry industry or global standards such as the Common Criteria Certification. Adopted by 28 countries, this is one example of a standard that specifies the security functionality and assurance requirements devices much have to give you confidence the data they process is secure.

The Common Criteria Certification puts device security through rigorous tests to ensure new printers can accurately claim to protect personal and corporate data.

Use authentication to release print jobs

How many print jobs regularly sit unattended on the printer trays in your office?

This is one of the most common reasons for security breaches and is easily avoided if you rely on modern printing technology.

By using authentication to release print jobs, documents are only printed when the person who requested them enters either a PIN code, ID card or their Windows credentials at the device itself.

This ensures documents are no longer left on the paper tray where anyone can pick them up.

Start tracking printing, copying and scanning activity

If you can’t track exactly what is being printed, copied or scanned and by whom, you can’t claim to have a secure printing environment.

This simple fact can be addressed by using print management software and user analytics that can turn raw activity data from devices into interactive, graphical reports, enabling you to get instant answers to print-related queries.

Ensure scanned files are stored securely

It’s not uncommon for businesses to inadvertently allow all employees to access locations where scanned files are stored.

By using a document management system on your multifunction print devices (MFDs), you can ensure that scanned documents are sent to secure locations to which only the person who scanned them has access. This will prevent personal or sensitive information falling into the wrong hands.

Get your retired MFD hard disks triple-overwritten

If you simply delete the files on your MFDs when they’re retired, you haven’t done enough to erase the data.

Remember - once that device leaves your premises, any data contained within can potentially be accessed by anyone. It’s therefore important to use image overwriting tools to completely erase MFD hard disks.

This ‘triple-overwrite’ of data is also advisable as a regular task during the MFD’s lifetime with your company to ensure no sensitive documents are retained for too long within its memory.

There are many other ways you can keep documents secure within your business, but we believe the above are some of the most common issues encountered.

How many of these risks apply to your business?