Last day of the month and it’s time for me to wrap up our deep-dive into imaging and printing security. Today I complete the series with a discussion on how to preserve integrity of print data and printed documents. If you missed the any of the rest of the series you can catch up and review the first four articles to give you a complete understanding of all the elements of print security along with strategies and solutions to secure your own print environment.
If you’re just catching up, you’ll want to review the first 4 articles:
Consider this Data Integrity Scenario: Manufacturing deceit
An employee in the R&D division at an internationally known car manufacturer is tasked with making several copies of a binder containing a competitor’s prototype designs. The employee sees the competitor’s logo as well as several notices marked confidential throughout the booklet—and quickly deduces that the binder is stolen. He alerts the authorities, who launch an investigation. The rival company claims that the binder contains original hard copies and was stolen from its own R&D department—an accusation of corporate espionage. However, the company has no way to track that particular binder back to the source of the leak, and it cannot verify whether the binder was printed in-house or outside the organization. Although the company has many digital security measures in place to track and account for digital documents, no security measures exist to track or verify hard copies. An official investigation drags on for years, with both companies accumulating extensive legal fees and lost time.
With the fast-paced world of business increasingly focused on digital information, many organizations are enacting security measures to ensure the integrity of digital files. But in their haste to go digital, they often overlook how securing hard-copy documents is just as crucial to everyday business operations.
Printed documents are susceptible to multiple risks, including document tampering—altering a genuine document so it contains new, unsanctioned information—or even theft and misuse, if the information contained in the document is deemed valuable. Safeguarding an organization’s time, money, and reputation should be as straightforward as verifying whether a document has been altered or, in the case of theft, tracking a document back to the source.
These risks require a powerful security response. Organizations must put security measures in place that ensure document integrity—verifying when, where, and by whom a document was printed—and that the document hasn’t been altered after it was first produced.
In the scenario above, a simple machine-readable code could have helped the company track the binder of materials and, if stolen, helped track the path of the binder back to the source of the leak. Leading IT security providers, such as HP, are continually developing products and solutions, and working with third-party partners to help organizations protect the integrity of their printed documents. Here are a few solutions that address document integrity:
- Tamper-evident ink or toner releases a stain when any chemical alteration of a document is attempted, immediately showing evidence that a document has been tampered with.
- Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) technology uses magnetically chargeable ink or toner to print numbers and special characters—containing identification, routing, and tracking information—on the bottom of sensitive documents, such as checks or other transactional documents.
- Machine-readable codes printed on a hard-copy document make tracking easy as the document moves through a workflow.
- Secure input trays keep special papers—for checks, prescriptions, or other unique documents—under the safety of lock and key to prevent forgery or fraudulent use.
Print security is a vital consideration when evaluating and developing any organization’s printing environment. Protecting valuable information, whether digital or hard copy, goes hand in hand with protecting your business and bottom line. The essential next step for any security-aware organization is to take these considerations and transform them into action.
TAKE THE NEXT STEP
HP can help you assess the security of your printing environment, identify areas of vulnerability, and help implement services and solutions to address any security needs or concerns. Learn more about how HP Managed Print Services (MPS) can secure your print environment or contact an HP representative (or HP partner) to identify an approach that can help your organization save money and secure your printing and imaging environment.
You can also use these tools to help you get started. SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOLS:
- HP Security Action Plan for Imaging and Printing
- HP Imaging and Printing Best Practices