Data access and security

How proactive are you when it comes to data protection in your business?


Data access and security

The growth in organisational data

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.


Where are you vulnerable?

A quick scan of the average office should identify a few vulnerabilities. Without stringent data governance, the average office can contain:

  • Print jobs stored on the hard-drive of the device they were sent to
  • Self-authored applications, such as spreadsheets, containing data hidden to IT teams
  • Temporary files copied by employees onto USB memory sticks or into the cloud
  • Hard copy documents held in files and waste paper bins
  • Electronic documents stored on hard drives, the cloud, mobile devices and content repositories, and
  • Duplicated files stored on a myriad of file shares and mobile devices.

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.


Securing your office data

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:

  • Before use: Configuring your device against a security hardening profile (Canon’s hardening guide and PDI configuration services will enable you configure security in line with your risk appetite)
  • In use: Consider an IP control policy, removable hard drive option, a HDD secure data erasure tool, and/or data encryption to ensure any data created, published and stored during operation is kept safe, and
  • After use: Engage a data removal service for end-of-life devices to prevent any confidential that may be stored on your devices and their hard drives from falling into the wrong hands (these controls should be outlined in your organisational property control policies – if you’re a Managed Print Service client, we ensure these policies are implemented on your behalf).

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.

For a personalized consultation on how to secure your office,

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