I think you would agree that everyone has been talking about securing their hard drives, wiping data from hard drives and even destroying the hard drive by beating it to death with a hammer if you are going to be selling or recycling a computer. And we do this for good reason, even if you wipe your hard drive clean there is always the possibility of extracting data from it in the hands of a knowledgeable person thus putting you at risk of loosing valuable or personnel data that you would not want in the hands of thief’s. But would you believe one of the easiest losses of data within your company is through your networked printer and copies! It may be time you enable secure printing in your office.
Think about it, what do you send through your printers & copies? How about customer list, invoices, payroll information, credit card transactions and god knows what else. Where does this information end up? Well most of the time in the hands of the person that sent the job to the machine. But does your copier have a hard drive that stores this information or other ways that retains information? Is it networked? Is that network really secure from hacking? These are questions that need to be answered.
How about that disgruntled employee that has already interviewed for another job, has been accepted but will not start for another 30 days. Let’s say the new job is another sales position the same as he has been doing for you? He has access to all of your confidential information from client list to equipment that each customer has to each customers buying habits. It happens all the time, it actually happened to me with a partner I had, when he left without my knowledge and against the terms of the termination agreement, he left with the businesses entire customer list with all the associated information. Or have you ever printed out an account list or internal documents to a printer and when you went to pick up your job it wasn’t any where to be found? Where did it go, did it ever print, is there an audit trail.
Most likely someone has stolen that printed data, account list or intellectual property. It could very well be that disgruntled employee who is getting ready to leave and is gathering information on as many accounts from as many reps & managers in the company as he can before leaving. So how can you protect your self against this?
The Solution: Print Secure
One solution that fits the bill is a product called Print Secure from Print Audit. This product is loaded with features. The software is easy to install and can be installed on as many machines as a business has. All you need to make sure is you are running XP or newer software. You can configure the software to automatically delete an unreleased job after a specified period of time, that way if someone sends a job to the printer and forgets about it someone else won’t be pulling it from the machine.
Some of the benefits of using this product is you can place your print jobs into a virtual print queue so you are in control of when that document is going to be released thus eliminating the risk of prying eyes viewing confidential documents. It encourages users to only print the documents they really need thus saving the company money. It ensures your data is secure by not transmitting any information outside of your network.
Users can also release their print jobs at the printer (prox card reader) or manage their jobs by logging into the secure web portal through any device with web access. Thus you could release your job via your smart phone, a web browser on the MFP/printer, PC workstation or a tablet. The Secure Web portal also allows users to view detailed information about each print job in the queue such as document name, user, time printed and the printer that was used and more. All of this information can be very useful in tracking and knowing who, when and to what printer a job went not to mention who sent that job.
Not only that, with Secure every printer is assigned a 2 to 5 character code known as a Printer ID. When using a smart phone to release a job the user has to enter this Printer ID to send the job to a specific printer thus giving you a virtual paper trail. To allow users to easily identify a Printer ID, a sticker template is provided to allow organizations to easily print labels to apply to their printers and copiers.
Whether we like it or not, digital theft in all of it’s forms is here to stay. In the old days someone had to manually jot down all the info he or she was trying to steal or swipe some documents that were laying around that had the info they wanted. Now with computers and cutting edge printers and copies that are networked and are capable of holding and storing every document that passes through it a thief has many avenues of stealing what they want. It’s up to us to make sure that data is kept secure.
Your turn, we would really like to hear if you have had any security issues and how you dealt with them. Do you use this software or some other software to protect your printed data. The more all of us know the safer we will be.