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In just a few weeks, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is going to be implemented. With this legislation, protecting customer and employee data should no longer be an afterthought; it should be the priority of your organisation. Failure to safeguard the data you hold can result in costly fines and reputational damage.

As you work towards compliance, do not solely focus on securing your IT infrastructure. Make sure that your printing and document management processes are also designed to minimise or eliminate data leaks.

Most people associate data breaches with large-scale cyberattacks. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, the leak can be due to printed documents ending up in the hands of unauthorised personnel. This is why you should never overlook data in print when designing and implementing GDPR-compliant processes.

One of the best ways to prevent unauthorised employees from collecting printed files is to invest in state-of-the-art multifunction printers (MFPs) and print security solutions. Nowadays, there are MFPs with pull printing feature – only authenticated users can print or claim a printed document. With this feature, you do not have to worry about files sitting on the output tray and getting intercepted.

It also helps if you use devices with auditing and reporting capabilities. This is going to enable you to track user and document activity. In case of a breach, this feature can be useful in identifying who the source of the leak is.

When it comes to printing, do not forget that printers of today can store data. So, you must also ensure that information stored in or passing through your printer are protected. How? Make sure your MFPs have a data encryption feature.

Please view Canon Information Security

Aside from your printing process, you must also see to it that how you handle paper-based documents adheres to the GDPR. This means storing the files in a highly secure place. You must also have the capability to properly destroy or discard these paper files.

Under the GDPR, organisations need to be able to grant the requests of customers to have their data deleted. This includes data in print. How do you correctly dispose printed documents containing sensitive information of your clients? The best way to accomplish this task is to use a shredder.

Just make sure that your chosen shredder has an excellent security feature. This is to prevent people from accessing the document while it’s on queue or being shredded. It also helps if your machine can shred documents fast and has an auto-feed feature.

When it comes to handling printed data, it is recommended that you consider digitising or scanning your paper files. Keeping digital copies of your documents can make it easier for you to locate them. Hence, when a customer asks for a copy of his/her data, you can grant his/her request immediately.

Apart from enabling you to effortlessly comply with the GDPR, digitisation can make your employees happier and more productive. According to reports, one of the difficulties employees encounter is finding essential documents or information instantly. In fact, some employees resent doing this task with them saying that it eats so much of their time. This pain point can be avoided or eliminated when your files are digitised or scanned.

So, in your GDPR compliance journey, make sure that you include plans on how to secure paper-based documents as well as printing and document management processes.

Want to learn more about how to keep your printing and document management policies GDPR-compliant? Please call us at 01 460 4444 and talk to our specialist today.

Photo by Christoph Scholz