Image by: Mikko Lemola, ©2015 Getty Images

Much has been written about the importance of securing data in the enterprise. Organizations have implemented policies and have spent untold millions of dollars to ensure the security and privacy of sensitive information. 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.

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 or a meeting beckons and the material sits in the printer tray, or the print job is picked up right away, along with a few pages of someone else’s print job. Imagine the most sensitive documents employees print, copy or scan leaked to the public. How damaging would it be?

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.

Three 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. When employees send a job to the printer—whether from their workstation or a mobile device—it won’t print out until they get there to ensure it is collected by the owner.

2. Ensure that your print governance includes documenting a print, copy and scan trail
An audit trail identifies who handled which documents and, in the case of scans, where they were sent. Print administrators can create reports 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. As important, however, is investing in document security from purposeful or accidental leaks from within by using effective print management and
document handling policies.

Martin de Martini is the vice president of transition management at Y Soft Corporation. He oversees the company’s internal and external standardization processes and continues to evangelize intelligent office solutions. He can be reached at

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