Security and Governance of Your Printed Material

November 29th 2016

Greg Downer

Reading Time: 12 Minutes

Printing documents can introduce security risks to your firm. By considering the security and governance of your printed material, you can reduce the risk of data breach and ensure that your confidential data is safe.

When a document is printed, it leaves the safety of your IT infrastructure and its security controls. Most firms will have perimeter firewalls, antivirus, password protection, and a number of other security measures in place. This ensures that the journey a cybercriminal must take to get to your confidential data is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Leave a printed copy of that same data lying around, though, and the journey becomes far easier.

By implementing proper security and governance of your printed material, you significantly reduce the risk of your confidential data being compromised.

Essential Elements of Security and Governance

There are four essential elements of security and governance that will help your firm keep its confidential documents safe. Given proper consideration and implementation, they will go a long way towards mitigating the risk of data compromise:

Define and Enforce Policies. Your firm should seek to define its policies in terms of both printing processes and clear desk requirements. Print governance for managed print services will allow you to implement standards which ensure that print services are used economically and securely. And once documents have been printed and collected, a clear desk policy is essential to avoid confidential documents being left around to be picked up and potentially fall into the wrong hands.

Restrict Access and Functionality. Ideally, all printing should be carried out through a centralised print server. At this point, decisions can be made as to how, when and where users can print. Whether users are locked to a specific printer or utilise ‘follow me’ printing will have an effect on your firm’s security policies.

Secure Document Delivery. Managed print solutions allow for secure document delivery. A key security risk that printing brings is confidential documents being left on the printer tray. Through secure document delivery, users can be given a PIN which they need to enter at the printer to activate the print job. This mitigates the risk of compromising confidential information by users sending print jobs and forgetting to collect them.

Print Auditing. In order to understand how successful your firm’s print security and governance is, you need to be able to audit your processes to ensure that they are working effectively. Managed print solutions allow you to track print jobs across the organisation, and the data you collect will help to drive developments in how print services are delivered.

Implement Security and Print Governance

The vast majority of businesses require print services, and so it is essential to ensure that printing does not become a security burden. At Vinestreet Solutions we support firms who wish to implement security and print governance. Contact us to find out how we can help you implement secure, effective managed print services.

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