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Security breaches often make headline news and it’s a constant battle to keep sensitive data safe and secure. Your customers need the reassurance that their details will not fall into the wrong hands.

The consequences of a security breach can be severe and may include:

  • Adverse publicity
  • Loss of faith by customers
  • Damage to the company’s reputation
  • Costs and possible compensation claims, should mis-acquired data be subsequently used for ill-gain
  • Valuable management time spent investigating the security breach
  • A negative impact on staff morale

Human error

A key task faced by large corporations is the effective management of the sheer number of employees involved, any one of whom can make serious mistakes – it’s human nature to do so.

Employees will often and inadvertently, violate corporate policies or fail to comply with government or industry regulations. The larger the company, the harder it is to keep control over the actions of employees.

A simple, seemingly innocent mistake can have disastrous consequences but there is a further and growing threat to consider. It is a sorry fact but, with the rewards on offer, some staff will not be immune to the temptation of committing internal espionage or, in other words, business sabotage.

According to our partners in security systems, Uniflow Ltd, the threat from disgruntled or greedy employees has been identified, after malware attacks, as the second largest risk to corporations -and indeed smaller enterprises.

And, it is now known that by far the biggest source of loss of confidential information, is via poor control of paper documents.

Printed documents left uncollected in the print tray or simply lying on unattended desks can easily fall into the wrong hands, with the result that security will be compromised and confidentiality broken.

Failsafe security systems

With so many evident risks to the business, the best and simplest way forward is to take proactive action, by putting failsafe systems in place to protect sensitive company data. The good news is that the technology to do this is here and perfectly designed for the job.

Secure printing and document management systems put measures in place to control document output and movement. e.g.

  • Documents enter a print queue and can only be printed by authorised employees, via their personal authentication code
  • Scans, copies, and documents being sent to print can be checked for restricted key words and alerts sent to management, if a restricted document is being processed
  • Job logs reports identify, via quick text searches, which users have produced specific documents, so that the source of an information leak can be quickly and accurately identified and corrective action taken. The culprit is quickly stopped and the information leak brought under control
  • Employees know that their output is being monitored, and this, in itself, acts as a deterrent, prompting staff to behave more responsibly
  • The IT security department can decide which users or devices should be monitored and put system checks in place for sensitive information such as bank statements, salary details and the like. They also have the ability to intercept workflow, if it is seen as being in breach of security rules
  • Employees are assigned workflow permissions, no matter what device they use, ensuring continuity of security measures whilst, at the same time allowing the flexibility to use any assigned device

Security policies

The technology must of course be backed up by easily understood security policies, ensuring employees follow correct procedures to protect sensitive data and prevent it falling into the wrong hands.

For example:

  • Clear desk policies
  • No documents to be left in the print tray
  • Company computers and printers to be used for company business only
  • Documents to be printed only on a ’needs-must’ basis

This ensures that sensitive data remains secure, even when a document exists in physical format.

Remember, bad security is worse than no security! A fail-safe security system that detects breaches as they happen is the best way to protect your business, and your staff from transgression – either accidental or deliberate.