Navigating the world of document confidentiality

Navigating the world of document confidentiality

Today’s fast-paced business environment demands near-instant access to the documents, data and information that is vital to operations. As a result, the digitisation of old paper documents is an increasingly popular practice amongst organisations seeking to keep pace within their industry.

The shift to digital – while increasing productivity and efficiency – is not without its challenges. Threat actors looking to exploit vulnerabilities in network security may be able to access your private data. This article will examine the importance of implementing data security protocols and how automating your document workflow can reduce the risk of a cyberattack.

Keeping your confidential information under lock and key

Corporate and confidential information is an increasingly lucrative target for cybercriminals. If documents that contain sensitive information are maliciously or wrongly exposed to the public, it could not only jeopardise business continuity but may also put you at legal risk.

A recent Legal Vision article describes trade secrets as any confidential information that has value to a business. Should your valuable business information become exposed to external parties, said data becomes public information. Breach of trade secrets is difficult to enforce in a court of law so today’s business leaders are taking extra precautions to safeguard their critical information.

The challenges facing document security include:

  • A lack of oversight
  • Manual data entry
  • Pen-and-paper data record-keeping
  • Time-consuming retrieval process

Consequences of a data breach include:

  • Legal liability
  • Loss of business
  • Tarnished reputation
  • Business disruption

As outlined by the Australian government, the obligations of confidence law protects the private information of your organisation’s employees. Businesses looking to protect confidential documents can utilise government-backed tools such as the IP Contract Generator for individual documents, but a larger and more comprehensive solution is the best way to ensure your organisation is protected.

Brother features enhance document confidentiality

Brother printers provide functions aimed at enhancing the security of your critical print documents. By selecting a Brother multi-function centre (MFC) equipped with capabilities like Secure Function Lock and Secure Print, you’ll ensure that you’re enhancing the privacy of your print data while streamlining your office workflow.

No HDD in MFCs and printers

Many Brother MFCs and printers do not come equipped with a hard disk drive (HDD). Although an external drive or flash can be connected and formatted, the removable drive capabilities of today’s office devices ensure private or confidential documents are not left and accessible after a print job is completed.

Once you’ve successfully printed your project, the information is removed from the device, with no digital trail remaining.

Secure Function Lock

Secure function lock restricts the functionality of one or all of your device’s operations from public access. Secure function lock also prohibits users from altering the default settings of the machine by limiting access to configuration settings. Only authorised personnel and administrators can alter settings and security functions by entering an administrator password.

As an administrator, you’ll be able to alter the access capabilities of your workforce, providing complete visibility as to the users who will be granted print and scan abilities. In addition to the added security, this oversight also provides cost savings, as only essential print jobs can be completed, reducing consumption of consumables like paper and toner.

Secure Print

The secure print capability of your Brother printer allows you to send documents directly to the device, which will refrain from printing them until you enter a personal PIN number upon arriving at the machine.

The secure print feature can be accessed via the ‘device options’ tab on your workstation and involves entering a four-digit numerical code, which will be repeated at the printer when prompted in order to release your documents. Some of the latest Brother devices can be accessed by utilising near-field communication (NFC) technology. This allows your phones, tablets, laptops and other connected devices to share data with other NFC-enabled devices nearby. NFC doesn’t require manual pairing or device discovery to transfer data, and is automatically initiated when another NFC device comes within a four-inch range.

This strengthens office security by ensuring no one else has access to your critical documents should you be delayed on your way to the printer. Added functionality is gained by equipping an optional Compact Flash memory into the device.

Copy Watermark

Select Brother devices have a copy-identification feature that displays a watermark on any additionally printed replications of your critical print documents. By tagging copies of original documents, you’ll be able to quickly identify unauthorised replications.

A hand holding a keycard over a multi-function printer
NFC-enabled devices ensure documents are collected only by those with the proper authorisation

Protecting documents with a document management solution

Brother provides comprehensive, versatile document management services designed to safeguard your operational infrastructure. A document and content management solution is a digital workflow that streamlines the managing and sharing of your business documents. This automation can increase the efficiency and productivity of your operations, while bolstering the security of your critical data.

The benefits of a reliable document management system include:

  • Increased document visibility
  • More control over access rights and permissions
  • Simplified audit trail
  • Faster retrieval, validation and reporting
  • Centralised storage
  • Value-added benefits include less print waste, physical storage space and fewer manual errors

Digital document management is a cost-effective, convenient way to secure your information. By implementing a cyber-based platform, you’ll minimise the risk of paper copies being misplaced, stolen or destroyed.

How to secure your document workflow

In addition to employing a document management solution, there are additional measures you can take to protect your critical information.

Here are some tips and best practices designed to combat the vulnerability of your data resources:

  • Store documents based on sensitivity: Many platforms, such as Microsoft 365 and Azure, contain sensitivity labels allowing you to choose between public, non-public and confidential settings for your documents. Kofax ControlSuite is embedded on select Brother printers and enables secure access to all documents, allowing you to set permissions accordingly
  • Password-protect documents once they’re scanned: Ensure that access to confidential information is guaranteed once you’ve sent a digital copy to the intended recipient
  • Regularly review version histories and track changes: Line of sight into document changes and additions can be easily detected. Stay in the know regarding revisions to critical data
  • Monitor how documents are used, shared or printed: Brother document management solutions allow insight into the usage of your print resources, including the frequency of use and associated security measures for each workstation and document
A businessman holding up a piece of paper next to a printer in an office
Secure document management comes down to monitoring how documents are used, shared and printed

What you need to streamline your business assets

Brother scanners and MFCs make secure document management possible. By assisting the automation of your workflow while safeguarding your important data, today’s versatile office resources can boost the efficiency of your business processes.

Brother supports efforts to transition to the increasingly digital world of document management. By ensuring that your office print resources are backed by the latest security measures, we’re committed to assisting your organisation as it embraces today’s digital transformation.

To learn more about how we can take your digitisation efforts to the next level, book a complimentary print assessment today. Our team of specialists will evaluate the security of your current infrastructure and make recommendations as to how you can further enhance your operational efficiency – without compromising the security of your critical data.


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