8 Common Document Security Threats (and Solutions)

     

Are you ready in the event that your digital copier's security is breached?

When you think of a security breach in business, what immediately comes to mind? Most of us think of  hackers and phishing emails with promises from Nigerian princes and ransomware.

And those are real threats. Businesses of every size should have an information security plan because EVERYONE is a target for cybercriminals.

However, we often forget that the humble, boring, paper (and digital) documents in our offices can lead to a data breach.

 

Here are eight often-overlooked document security issues – and quick tips for fixing each.

1. Documents Exposed in Printer Output Trays

Anyone can walk by and pick up sensitive information. And because many users don't pay close attention and assume a document simply didn't print and would just print it again, the loss wouldn't even be noticed. But let's say those documents contained personal information about 50 patients. That's a HIPAA violation.

Security Tip: Implementing pull printing (also known as Follow Me printing) ensures documents are released by the person who printed the document at the printer.

2. Sensitive Data Sent to Printers and Copiers

Hackers can steal information from a print stream sent to print.

Security Tip: Encrypt all files sent over a network to the printers.

3. Documents on Copier Hard Drives

Depending on the model, your copier could have tens of thousands of documents on its hard drive – HR records, invoices, patient files, checks (anything copied or printed on the device).

Security Tip: Many copiers now have an overwrite function. Use it. And be sure to digitally shred or even remove your copier hard drive whenever you get rid of the device (end of lease, selling it, or even recycling it). More about this issue here: 6 Potential Security Cracks Created by Your Copier.

It is an unfortunate fact of office life, but your copiers and printers will  break and require regular maintenance.

 

4. Scanning to Unauthorized Apps

Productivity apps for sharing documents are amazing and helpful. However, you need to be able to track confidential data.

Security Tip: Authorize cloud apps and create workflows for them.

5. No Print Tracking

Anyone can print anything at anytime.

Security Tip: Implement print rules to control and tracking of all documents printed.

6. Unlocked Filing Cabinets

How many movies are there where the heroes find the information they need in a filing cabinet? While great for a good film ending, open filing cabinets aren't so good for preventing documents from being lost or stolen.

Security Tip: For paper files, lock them up – in a secure room with drawers under lock and key. You can also digitize and then password-protect and even encrypt documents too.

7. Unfettered Access to Print/Copy Devices

Who's using the devices? Who knows! Anyone can make off with your information at any time.

Security Tip: Require user authentication to print/copy with passcodes, cards, or even biometric identification. At least set up your MFP to log data.

8. Unrestricted Access to Scanned Documents

While audit trails can show you who accessed documents, they won't prevent sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.

Security Tip: PDFs can be password-protected. Use this functionality to secure your information.

 

Security often sounds harder than it is. These eight common document security issues don't have to bog down your business. These practical tips can ensure your confidential information stays that way.

Do you know these 12 copier security issues? Because hackers are like wolves; they go after the weak.

About The Author

Dave Quint, president and CEO of Advanced Systems Inc. and immediate past president of BTA Mid-America. Dave has worked with copiers, MFPs, scanners, and document workflow software since joining Advanced Systems as a sales associate in 1989. His favorite part of the job -- “there is no greater joy than to see the positive impact these solutions have in our client’s businesses.’