Since the introduction of GDPR, the responsibility for keeping data safe has been placed very directly into the hands of those organisations holding data. A data breach can cost a business up to £175 million or 4% of its worldwide turnover, and this doesn’t account for the reputational impact and long-term brand damage of such an event. With such high stakes, businesses need to capitalise on technological developments that can help them safeguard their data from sinister or careless behaviour.

Data security risks come from the actual devices on the network, much like a computer or another network device, the hardware needs to be secured against unwelcome access. Then there is a risk to data that is printed or scanned. By improving the measures designed to ensure that data isn’t left unattended to fall into the wrong hands, or sent incorrectly to the wrong place or person, companies remove a substantial element of risk. This particular risk is just as relevant when talking about faxing and scanning too.

So, to reduce the data risk If you’re looking to invest in a new scanner or printer, here are some of the technologies you might find that can help you protect your data:

Protection for your printer:

  • Network setting capabilities

Most new printers today are set up to manage network settings as with most other devices but just check that these can be configured and managed effectively.

  • The ability to block USB connections

USB connections can be used to bypass network controls when printing or scanning. By choosing a device where you can block USB connections, you can stay in control of your printers and protect your network. The same restrictions can be placed on USB ports and memory card ports.

Protection capabilities for your printed documents

  • Pull printing

The availability of pull printing means that printing only actually takes place once the right person is on hand to collect. It also ensures that the right device prints the document.

  • Password-protected printing

This enables users to set up passwords for sensitive documents, which means that only once a password is entered at the point of printing will the document print run, ensuring that the recipient will be available when the printing is complete.

  • Anti-copy patterning

You can add a transparent anti-copy pattern to the original document output. When this document is copied, the pattern shows up, enabling protection of the original document and confirmation of its authenticity.

  • Document categorisation labels

With document categorisation labels such as ‘Confidential’ or ‘Important’ printed at the top of a document, recipients of the document to see at a glance the nature or significance of a particular document and understand the need to keep it safe.

  • PDF encryption in scanning.

By encrypting a PDF upon scanning, only those devices with the decryption code can access this document, which reduces the risk of data interception and document falsification. By using encryption such as AES-128, AES-192 and AES-256 AND 3DES the sender and recipient can be confident in non-repudiation and data security even as it travels between multiple servers.

Protection for your scanned documents

  • Double entry fax number requirements

We’ve all dialled the wrong number – it’s not difficult to do. However, with double-entry requirements for a fax machine, you reduce the risk of a fax being sent to the wrong recipient.

  • Address confirmation prior to sending

This is another way that some devices can reduce the risk of incorrect sending. By asking the sender to confirm the destination address, the device reduces the risk of data falling into the wrong hands.

  • Dial tone detections

This is around improving the rate of successful transmission by awaiting a dial tone on a line before entering the number the data should be sent to. In doing this, it reduces the risk of a failed transmission and the delays that can accompany those.

  • Fax printing restrictions

These fax printing restrictions can be put in place to ensure that fax printing isn’t automatic but only takes place once the recipient is at the printer to receive it.

  • Transmission confirmation port printing

These reports are more of a Reassurance rather than a protective measure, but every little helps. A report can be printed to confirm the successful transmission and the details of the fax transmission for reference after the event.

  • Backup data deletion

Data for completed faxes can be deleted either manually or automatically to prevent reprinting of a fax or access to the stored data.

  • Limited fax sending

Limited sending of faxes can require users to input and send each fax separately, making it more difficult for incorrect destinations to ‘fall into’ a list of addresses without being noticed.

For more information about any of the features on ASL-supplied devices produced by any of our partners, contact us on 0345 207 7000.