Information leakage could leave you high and dry
Beware! The confidential document you printed in office could have been photocopied by unauthorized staff
For security purposes, you canÂ install an antivirus, antispyware and firewall on the office computer network. This will protect electronic files, data and software on your systems from viruses, spyware and hackers. But is that enough to ensure information security? The answer is ‘no’. In addition to electronic information security, you also need to prevent unauthorized access to documents that are required to be printed, scanned or copied. In a statement, Holger Groenert, product marketing manager at South Africa-based company Itec, emphasized the significance of installing access control and user verification devices in an office automation setting.
According to Groenert, examples of information security breach, include unauthorized photocopying, printing or stealing of confidential documents related to clients, the organization’s plans, financial statements, tenders, contracts and payroll. With the increasing number of information security incidents in recent times, companies have realized the importance of taking steps to plug the loopholes to prevent data theft. In the United States, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires certain business practices to be implemented for compliance. In South Africa, the Protection of Personal Information Bill proposes that fines will be imposed on firms if client information is leaked.
Groenert recommends that authentication equipment such as biometric readers and security code input devices can be used to restrict access to printers, scanners, copiers, etc. The follow-me-printing technology ensures that a printout is not released until the user is verified. An alternative is to embed a security code in a printed document so that it cannot be copied by anyone. The printouts can also be given unique numbers associated with specific users so that they are responsible for the security of the documents.
If appropriate information security measures have not been implemented at your office, think twice before you delay yourself in collecting the printout of a confidential document from the printer tray.