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Document Security – Don’t Fumble on the Last Yard

28 Apr, 2016 By: Martin de Martini

Much has been written about the importance of securing data in the enterprise. Organizations have implemented policies and spent untold millions of dollars to ensure the security and privacy of sensitive information. And yet, the risk of a leak of information is still possible within the walls of every company.

In fact, the noise heard every day in an office could be that of a potential document security breach. What is it? It’s the multifunction printer that busily prints, scans and copies documents; the last yard where all previous security efforts are fumbled as confidential data bounces away undetected.

Unsecure print services equate to unsecure IT

Everyone has done it. A print job is sent to the printer with good intentions of picking it up. The phone rings, a meeting beckons, and the material sits in the printer tray. Or, the print job is picked up right away, accidentally, along with a few pages of someone else’s print job. What if it was a preliminary earnings report, a layoff proposal or a list of homeowners who are 90 days past due on their mortgage payment?

Imagine the most sensitive documents employees print, copy or scan leaked to the public. How damaging would it be? How effective is IT security if what is printed or scanned is unsecure?

Processing, handling and transferring sensitive information is a way of life in today’s business world. And human interaction only complicates things. However, just as enterprises deploy access and security measures for computer systems and buildings, the same attention is needed for document handling.

Many organizations today use a print management solution to enforce safe print governance policies. Such a solution offers several ways to increase document security.

3 Steps to Increase Document Security

1.           Secure access to multifunction and networked printers

As with any valuable company property, access to print, copy and scan services should be limited to authorized employees. Set up access through a card reader or entry of username/password, PIN or any combination depending on the level of security you require.

Now, when employees send a job to the printer as usual – whether from their workstation or a mobile device, it won’t print out until they get there to ensure it is collected by the rightful owner.

Bonus: Prior to securing access, companies would spend budget on personal printers for employees who could justify the need for printing sensitive documents, for example, an executive assistance; these expensive printers can now be eliminated.

2.           Ensure your print governance includes documenting a print, copy & scan audit trail

An audit trail identifies who handled which documents and, in the case of scans, where they were sent. Print administrators can create reports from their print management system to identify individuals, groups or cost centers and the print services behaviors of each. While these reports offer many additional insights, should a sensitive document be the center of a security breach, an audit trail will be crucial to track the source.

3.           Control where scans are distributed.

Pre-program scans to a particular secure file location or into approved third-party applications, disallowing scans going to unauthorized email addresses or personal folders.

Companies should continue to invest in securing their data from outside attacks. Internal security is just as important. While investments in encryption on internal networks provide a layer of security, using an enterprise print management and document capture solution provides a security layer to address human behavior/habits and the physical security of documents.


Byline by: Martin de Martini, Vice President of Transition Management, Y Soft Corporation.  YSoft SafeQ is an enterprise print management and document capture solution that increases document security, improves productivity with automated workflows and reduces overall IT print services costs.  Email Martin.deMartini@ysoft.com

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