Safeguarding confidentiality: when documents are left lying on office laser printers

We're all constantly encouraged to be security aware, yet in the workplace it seems that there are some obvious security issues that are being overlooked, such as office laser printers.

Companies secure their buildings with an array of locks, alarms and key codes yet it seems that some  are less aware of the threat posed by the seemingly simple act of confidential documents remaining unclaimed on the office laser printers. A security breach can be just as damaging as a physical break in and the after-effects even more long lasting.


Only last year a survey conducted by storage and information management company Iron Mountain revealed that almost half (45%) of the survey's UK respondents have seen confidential documents which have been left on office laser printers and photocopiers. Such security breaches can include information regarding a fellow employee's salary and benefits, performance review or a disciplinary matter. In the legal sector there are of course countless highly confidential client documents.

Company financial information is another source of inadvertently-leaked information that could prove highly damaging in the wrong hands. Whatever the content of the carelessly left documents, companies have a duty to protect their employees and the company itself from information being shared inappropriately.

A company's reputation, the trust of its customers and brand can be irreparably damaged by data breaches, whether by a simple act of carelessness at the office laser printers, as well as the wider legal and financial issues of failing to secure electronic data.

Office laster printers

AT ICA Digital we take the issue of document security very seriously and provide impartial advice to clients with businesses large and small to improve their security and avoid the potentially damaging consequences of a security breach.

So what can companies do to maximise their document security? A quick and simple initial step is to relocate office laser printers away from central areas, where not only staff but also visitors can access unclaimed documents.

Secure printing will close any security gaps and enable the collection of documents at the office laser printers only by their originator. Also known as 'pull' printing, there are a number of options including PIN codes, biometric fingerprint recognition and swipe cards to enable users to collect and remove their documents from the office laser printer.

Ideally the security measures outlined above for office laser printers should be part of a wider IT security strategy. The control and classification of secure material is part of an IT strategy which should include ensuring that every employee is educated about the risks, with policies integrated with business practices.

At ICA Digital we get to know our clients and their businesses, focusing our expertise on keeping both business and employees safe and up to date (an even more important consideration as regulatory requirements are constantly updated). We work with established suppliers including Ricoh, Toshiba and Kyocera, all offering reliability and consistency for every business need.

To discuss how ICA Digital can assist with supplying your office laser printers, print management solutions, IT security and other office technology, please call 0800 393989.

Smallfield, Surrey, RH6 9NW 0800 39 39 89

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