Australia has had enhanced privacy legislation and notifiable data breach requirements in place for more than a year. While this doesn’t yet affect many SMEs this doesn’t mean it won’t in the near future. Maintaining information security is essential not just to comply with legislation (although that’s an important consideration) but also to give customers and partners confidence that they can do business with you safely.
Letting documents fall into the wrong hands is unacceptable, yet it happens every day when businesses aren’t vigilant enough or when human error has a chance to creep in.
There are three key ways a printed document could inadvertently fall into the wrong hands:
When the wrong people get hold of your confidential information, your business suffers and your partners and customers are likely to suffer alongside you. The repercussions of data falling into the wrong hands can include:
Document security is, therefore, an important factor for every business to consider, regardless of the size of your company. Often, small businesses are attractive targets for criminals who presume that, the smaller the business, the less likely it is to have effective document security in place. However, properly securing your confidential information doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated, so there’s no reason that even the smallest company can’t have effective document security processes and tools.
There are three key ways you can keep your confidential documents secure:
1. Print authentication
Print authentication lets employees control when documents are printed and be at the printer ready to collect them before others have a chance to read these documents.
It uses a unique code or swipe card specifically allocated to an individual employee. This system initially holds the document until the employee uses their credentials to request it be printed at the printer. Once they swipe their card or enter their code, their print job is released.
This approach means fewer documents would be printed and left on the printer output tray, since the person doing the printing as to physically be at the printer before documents will print out. This also greatly reduces the amount of paper wastage that occurs when people have forgotten they’ve already printed a document out, so they print it again. Or, they aren’t aware that the document has printed at a different printer, so they assume it never printed out in the first place.
Print authentication therefore reduces cost as well as improving document security.
2. Secure data return
Printing devices can hold copies of documents printed, scanned, faxed, or copied on the machine. This means the documents can be accessed long after they were printed either by hackers that access the machine without authorisation, or by the machine’s next owners after your business has discarded it.
To ensure that your company’s information remains secure after the printer has reached its end of life, Konica Minolta offer two levels of security:
3. Employee education
When human error plays such a huge role in data breaches, it’s essential to educate employees so they know how to do their part to keep documents secure. Ingrained habits like shredding confidential documents when employees are finished with them, avoiding printing out documents where possible, and not keeping confidential documents in plain view on desks can all help keep information safe.
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