Safeguarding Confidential Information from Your Computer to Your Printer

September 30th 2016

Greg Downer

Reading Time: 10 Minutes

A stray confidential document can result in a data breach. In 2016, the potential consequences of this have never been so significant. How do you safeguard data when sending jobs to the printer?

Alternative investment managers are facing increasing security threats, and with these threats come heightened regulatory and investor scrutiny. If you are working with confidential information, there’s a very good chance that it will need to be printed at some point. When a confidential document is printed, the security parameters change: it no longer sits in a secure folder protected by passwords and firewalls.

The Risk of Data Compromise

When printing confidential documents, the nightmare scenario – the one that everyone should work to avoid – is sending the print job and leaving the printout lying on the printer tray. This gives anyone access to the confidential data, whether it’s strategic, financial, or HR related, and the consequences can be severe. Alternative investment managers risk suffering financial, operational, and reputational damage if confidential data is compromised.

How do you safeguard confidential information when it is printed? Fortunately, modern print solutions allow you to implement common sense security steps.

Print Confidential Documents Securely

Managed print providers like Vinestreet Solutions implement and support secure printing solutions that mitigate the risk of data compromise. Your firm can safeguard confidential information from your computer to your printer without unduly inconveniencing users:

Classify all documents according to their intended audience. All documents should state whether they are ‘external’ (for viewing by anyone), ‘internal’ (for viewing by staff only), or ‘confidential’ (for viewing by named recipients only).

Give all users a printing PIN. Each print user should be given a personal identification number (PIN) that is unique to them. When they send a print job, they need to go to the printer and enter their unique PIN before the job is released and the document is printed. This prevents the aforementioned nightmare scenario, where confidential documents are left lying around for anybody to pick up.

Combine people, processes, and systems. Effective security requires a combination of people, processes, and systems. Once you’ve implemented secure managed printing services and updated your print management process, ensure that your users are trained and understand the importance of diligence when dealing with confidential documents.

Managed Print Solutions Support Data Security

Printing confidential documents has traditionally presented a headache for security conscious alternative investment managers. The managed print solutions delivered by Vinestreet Solutions are tailored to your needs and provisioned in line with FCA and U.S. SEC requirements. For guidance and support in implementing secure printing practices for your firm, please contact us.

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