Watermarking Plugs Another Leak

Protecting electronic documents is critical to keeping your business information away from unauthorized people. Using proper authentication methods, access controls and file level encryption ensures that you are in control of who can see sensitive information.

But how about printed documents? They are easy to misplace and misuse in a world that increasingly relies on digital communication. Information leaks can come from printouts of sensitive documents left on shared printers or in unlocked locations. Anyone can steal a sensitive document sitting unattended in the output tray of a printer. Especially if you print something and someone picks it up before you get to the printer. If the information on the document is personally identifiable information (PII), customer data or financial information, this could become serious.

One way to address this is to implement pull printing or some type of secure release. You print and only release the document when you get to the printer by typing a PIN into the panel of an MFP or swipe a smart card to release the job.

Another way is to add a visible watermark to printed documents to help control information leaks. You can add the user who printed the document, a corporate logo, the date, time and even the IP address of the computer used to print. You can add this to every page printed. By logging all printing activities and even having an image of the actual document printed, you can identify your documents and narrow the source of your information leak. This protects you even if a document accidentally gets left in the wrong place.

Most people will think twice about copying, scanning or using a document that’s watermarked with company and user information. It closes one of the gaps in document security.

Source: Toshiba’s Managed Print Services Blog

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