As humans, we are surrounded by information. It is constantly where we work, and where we play. But without realising it, many offices are open to even the simplest of data breaches.
Organisations across the Middle East are managing an incredible volume of physical and digital information on a daily basis. This ranges from the most simple of business documentation to the most complex – and the most sensitive. Surprisingly, a significant amount of personal data is also held in the average office.
And while we assume our technology is secure as a result of firewalls and other such IT initiatives, there can be significant gaps in the security businesses rely on. Without realising it, many organisations remain vulnerable to these significant gaps, and this can facilitate intentional or unintentional data transmission. Without the right office equipment, your business can be put at risk.
A quick scan of the average office should identify a few vulnerabilities. Without stringent data governance, the average office can contain:
It is possible that because people spend the majority of their time at work, that the office is often the weakest link in data security. Employees develop their own applications, and they often create their own data repositories to speed up accessibility day to day. They print, scan and share documents without awareness of the control required to secure that data from unintentional accessibility or theft. Because some of this activity falls outside of any process parameters that may be set by the organisation, it’s not visible or controlled by IT teams.
The approach to data security is multi-faceted, ranging from devices that enable data protection, through to data destruction at the end of a device’s lifecycle.
Let’s look at the average office multifunction device as an example. At any point in time, multifunctional office devices may contain large amounts of data that should be protected. This data is stored on the device hard drive, and ranges from print jobs waiting to be printed, to received faxes, scanned data, address books, activity logs and job history. Whatever data is printed, scanned, copied or faxed from an office device is stored internally and therefore vulnerable. So how do you secure it?
The first step is to develop security initiatives at every stage of the device lifecycle; this will help determine the right multifunction to meet your criteria. For example, if you’re considering removing and storing hard disk drives in a secure location when not in use, you will need to invest in a device with a removable hard drive kit.
Other security initiatives could include:
The office is such a complex and varied environment, and therefore there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to formulating an appropriate information security approach for your business. At Canon, our approach is to work closely with our customers to build better information security together.