Print Privacy and Document Security

Few events can damage a company’s reputation and consumer trust more than the misuse or loss of sensitive personal data. As well as brand damage, data breach incidents can lead to substantial financial costs, including legal penalties.

Today businesses are under increasing pressure to protect the ever-growing volume of information that they store, but must enable a suitable level of access to employees, business partners and customers. Much of this information, at some stage in its lifecycle, resides on one of the least secure of media – the printed document. As more businesses move to a shared networked multifunction peripheral (MFP) environment, left unprotected, it is all too easy for unclaimed confidential or sensitive information to fall into the wrong hands – either accidentally or intentionally.


Quocirca, a leading research authority for business analysis, revealed that just 22% of businesses have implemented any form of secure printing. This leaves businesses exposed to data losses; 63% of businesses admit they have experienced one or more print-related data breaches. A data breach could be unauthorised access to a collection of files or simply a colleague accidentally seeing a confidential document while collecting their own print jobs from the MFP. Fortunately, businesses can address potential data loss through MFPs by implementing a Print Management Solutions with Secure Printing from Online.
** Drag scrollbar for more images **


There have already been several cases of regulators taking tough sanctions against businesses failing to protect printed sensitive data. For instance, in November 2012, the Plymouth City Council (UK) was fined £60,000 (AU$110,000) by the Information Commissioner’s Office, for unintentionally sending a child neglect case to the wrong recipient, having picked up the wrong documents from an MFP.


As shared printing environments become more common as a result of device consolidation, the risk of documents falling into the wrong hands is heightened. A print security strategy must control access to MFPs and provide monitoring and auditing capabilities to track usage by device and user. An organisation’s information security strategy can only be as strong as its weakest link and, given the continued reliance on printing amongst many businesses, print security is no longer something they can choose to ignore. Although secure print release is one approach to minimising potential data loss through unsecured printing, print security demands a comprehensive approach that includes education, policy, and technology.


Factual information in this article has been derived from research papers carried out by Quocirca amongst 150 enterprises with over 1,000 employees in multiple countries

Online are specialists in print management and document security and have been in the printing industry for more than two decades. We would love to discuss how secure printing technology can provide your business authentication and accounting capabilities, helping you improve document security and meet compliance regulations.
Have a chat with your account manager, call us on 9091 4544 or send an email to the PDS department.