Information security is crucial when you want to comply with legislation and give customers and partners confidence in your business. Letting documents fall into the wrong hands often happens when companies don’t incorporate strict security measures or when human error becomes too big of a problem.
There are three key opportunities a printed document can inadvertently fall into the wrong hands:
- Uncollected printing. The user doesn’t collect the printed documents right away and leaves them on the printer tray. At this point, someone can easily swipe them with other print jobs by accident, and unauthorized people might read them.
- Unsecured printers. While users might collect the printouts immediately, the printer can still be a problem if it isn’t secure. With printers connected to the internet, a hacker can access the printer’s hard drive and view all the previously printed confidential documents.
- Inappropriate disposal. You need to thoroughly clean a printer’s hard drive before disposing of it. It makes it easy for the next owner to access the old documents.
When the wrong people access your confidential information, it can make you, your partners, and your customers suffer. There are significant repercussions that can include:
- Criminals can use the information to defraud your company which can cause financial losses
- If someone discloses commercially-sensitive information to competitors, it could lead to competitive disadvantages
- Your reputation could take a hit as customers choose to take their business elsewhere because they don’t feel like their payment or other personal information is secure
- It might damage your supplier relationships if sensitive information about your communications and deals are made public, including special discounts or pricing
These are the top three ways you can keep your confidential documents secure:
1. Print authentication
Print authentication allows users to control when they print documents to be at the printer, ready to collect them before others can. It uses a personalized code or swipe card that belongs to just the allocated employee. It holds the document as pending until the employee uses their credentials to request the print at the printer. The printer fulfills the request once they swipe their card or enter their code.
This approach means fewer documents are left on the tray since the printing person has to walk to the printer and request their documents before they actually print. It also significantly reduces paper waste when people forget they’ve printed a document out, so they print it again. Or they aren’t aware that they sent the document to a different printer.
Print authentication is great for security and lowering costs.
2. Secure Data Return
Printing devices can hold copies of documents printed, scanned, faxed, or copied on their hard drive. That means someone can access them long after they were printed, either by hackers or by the machine’s next owners.
To ensure that your information remains secure after you dispose of it, you’ll want to look into:
- automated file deletion
- password protection
- encrypted hard drives
- a notice alerting staff to the security measures
3. Employee Education
When human error is such a huge factor in data breaches, it’s crucial to educate employees to help keep documents secure. Habits like shredding confidential documents as needed, avoiding printing where possible, and not keeping confidential documents in plain view can help keep information safe. Regular training will help keep your users on track.
Contact an expert
Ready to learn what managed print services are and how it can help your business? When you choose Docutrend, you are partnering with a top managed print service company that will provide a big-picture strategy, consistent service and support, creating a reliable print infrastructure.
Speak with a Docutrend print management expert and get a no-obligation assessment of your printer and copier environment today and learn how a customized MPS plan to help you start saving time and money.