5 steps to enhance digital content security

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There is a regular parade of stories in the media these days about companies losing data, either as a hard copy printout or in digital form.

Traditionally, the focus of content security is to prevent external threats such as viruses and hackers. However, threats like leaks, or unauthorized distribution of secure content that may come from inside an enterprise, are a potentially costly security breach that should be addressed.

Companies need to be able to identify and combat these content threats to prevent the unauthorized release of paper and digital documents. There are five steps businesses can take to ensure they minimize the potential for leaking information – be it intentionally or by accident:

  1. Encryption

Hard disks in printers and multifunction printers (MFPs) can be configured to use encryption to safeguard sensitive business information and data against loss and threats.

  1. Authentication

Having users authenticate themselves (with a PIN or employee card) and only release information as output at the point of need ensures documents can only be collected by that individual. This can be augmented with security templates and/or automatic email address insertion for workflow and scanning.

  1. Monitor flow of sensitive information

Implement a solution that monitors and audits the information, and can automatically pause output devices to stem the unauthorized flow of sensitive information. This means creating a searchable digital image file for every document that is printed, scanned, copied or faxed (regardless of source). A secure content monitor will give an organization the information needed to spot leaks and to establish a strong defense.

  1. Network device hardening

An unsecured printer or MFP connected to the corporate network can be a vulnerability that could be exploited by external hackers and internal threats. ‘Hardening’ these devices through techniques like port filtering and TCP connection filtering can make them resilient to network attacks.

  1. A shredder

Once sensitive information is printed, it’s out of the hands of digital protection. A good quality shredder can make sure physical copies don’t fall into the wrong hands.

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