With connected devices and technologies playing such a key role in modern office environments, security has never been such a big risk for businesses. We know the Internet of Things (IoT) is reinventing organisations, but while it’s easy to enjoy the benefits it is also essential to fully understand and consider the associated risks. 

How can you put document security at the heart of your internet-enabled workplace and avoid common pitfalls with the challenges that the IoT brings? We’ll tell you…

  • Complete an audit of your documents 

It might seem obvious, but when considering document security, you only need to focus on the documents that contain sensitive information. Go through your documents and separate those which include personal or sensitive information from those which don’t. By carrying out this exercise, it will be considerably easier to identify any physical and digital gaps in your document security and help you to prioritise the ones which pose the greatest risk to your business. Once you’ve selected the relevant documents, consider what controls you have in place – who accesses them and how? 

  • Ensure your network is protected  

Carry out a health check on the network to which your print devices are connected, to ensure it is secure. A thorough health check can identify security loop holes that need addressing and as a result, give you the reassurance that your network is as secure as possible. Also, think about where in the network your printers sit; are they connected physically or wirelessly? Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) tend to be the most susceptible to unauthorised access, which means wireless connected devices and the data being sent to them are extremely vulnerable. If you use a third-party provider to manage this for your business, they will review it for you. 

  • Be smart with your systems

When you’re exploring options for print devices and managed print systems, choose technologies that align to your company’s security policies and authentication process. It’s also worth considering what authentication you have in place and what additional functionality you may need. If you’re printing financial date, for example, you could benefit from additional authentication to maximise security even further. 

Look for devices that meet industry standards in protecting data being sent to and from them during the print process. Many devices and MFPs now feature ‘scan-lock’ and ‘follow-me’ features to reduce the risks of sensitive information being scanned or left on printers. It sounds obvious, but make sure you know who is using your devices and what documents they are accessing.

  • Have a protection policy in place 

Review any document and data management policies your business has in place, update them and possibly most importantly, ensure your employees are aware and informed of those policies. Automating the enforcement of your policies is recommended if that’s an option, as it reduces the pressure on employees being expected to remember each time. Make sure any devices with a hard disk are wiped and cleansed of data before they are re-sited or removed and if an employee leaves the business, ensure any laptops and mobile devices that have been used to access documents and managed print systems are returned and access rights are revoked. 

Many offices continue to rely on passwords for authentication. Passwords are a secure option if they’re used correctly – so, don’t use anything too obvious and change them regularly; three times a year ideally. Don’t forget physical security too – clear desk policies, for example, can prevent employees from leaving sensitive data lying around. 

We’re experts in document security and can recommend the right solution to support your business in creating the most secure working environment. Give our team a call today.