Protect those trade secrets

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 October, 2011, 12:00am


In business centres where companies share physical and server space, it is imperative to ensure data security.

Protecting the hard copy is the first and simplest task. Many copiers work with smart cards or passwords and users can only print or copy their own documents.

In the case of multi-function devices (MFD) that include printing, copying, scanning, faxing and fax to e-mail capabilities, leakage of business secrets can occur at different stages of the document life cycle.

People may forget to pick up the printout or leave the original in the machine, while faxes may be sent or received without authorisation. Leakage can also result from the system hard disk, as there may be unauthorised access to the internal network.

In a shared office where server space is also communal, make sure storage is segregated and everyone can only log into their own space and see their own documents, says Jon Chung, manager for business solutions, client solutions business, at Fuji Xerox (Hong Kong).

In addition, important documents stored in the server can be encrypted and opened only with another password.

Another step is to protect the document from unauthorised copying or faxing out. 'The company can specify some key words. If the printer detects sensitive words, it will alert the stakeholder. The same system can trace who and at what time faxed out [which] documents. If some sensitive information is leaked, it is possible to find out who in the company did it,' Chung says.

A safe dismantling of the hard disk at the end of the MFD's lifetime is important and Fuji Xerox has implemented the international standard 3D Procedures - namely degauss, destroy and dispose.

'Whenever looking at any shared space, the first thing to do is to choose a supplier or partner you can trust. Larger organisations are usually more capable of setting up more sophisticated systems and processes for security.

'The risk factors of losing control of your sensitive information should not be ignored when considering the return on investment when selecting where and how your business is going to work,' says Hans Leijten, Regus' regional vice-president for East Asia.

Chung says the future is in mobile document management, and that Fuji Xerox will soon be launching two iPhone and iPad apps to print from these mobile devices, and providing information technology and administration with mobile device management.