Businesses often handle confidential data from their customers. Proper management of sensitive information-such as credit card numbers or social security numbers-is essential to the security of each customer, as well as the success of the business. It’s never the wrong time to evaluate the security of your business data, and there are several components that must be considered in order to meet regulatory standards.
Here are some items to consider when conducting a security review:
1. Computer & Network Security – Install firewall systems and anti-malware software to protect information on computer systems. Network security protocols such as Transport Layer Security can also protect documents in transit.
2. Printed Document Security – To prevent unauthorized access of confidential information in printed documents, you should limit access to secure information to only after proper authentication occurs, such as use of passwords, pin codes, or security cards at printing stations. These systems also have audit trails to increase accountability. For complete control over the entire print process, companies can use print management software to track all printing activities and imaging equipment.
3. Fax Security – Even though faxing is no longer new technology, it’s still useful and present in most office settings. Therefore, you need to make sure faxes remain protected and secure. By directing incoming faxes using a fax routing system, faxes will only go to the intended recipient’s email inbox or designated network folder, thereby ensuring confidentiality. If you have older fax systems that cannot route to email inboxes, most can be configured to hold inbound faxes to be printed using a PIN release to an authorized employee.
4. Imaging Equipment Security -The hard drives of printers, copiers, and MFPs can store document images and information, making them targets for security breaches. Secure hard drives on imaging equipment are ideal, but always ask your equipment provider to securely erase or dispose of hard drives before any machine leaves your office.
5. Digital Document Security – Just as it’s critical to protect your printed documents, it is also important to secure your digital documents. It’s essential that you have a clear plan for how digital documents are created, used, stored, archived, and ultimately destroyed, in order to ensure privacy and security is maintained. This is paramount when documents are stored in the cloud or digitally, particularly for industries that are highly regulated, such as education, financial services, and healthcare.
Regardless of the source or format of data, it is vital that all data be treated as confidential and sensitive. Doing so can minimize risks that are increasingly found in our digitally connected and data-driven society.