Top Secret: Keeping Government Documents Secure

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Top Secret: Keeping Government Documents Secure

What’s more important than the security of government documents? Nothing. That’s why government offices across the country—and around the world—have to place the highest importance on document security measures. With hacking scandals more prevalent than ever security is a growing concern that produces an abundance of documents—both printed and digital. Government documents at all levels—local, state, and national—often contain highly confidential information that must be secured, and they usually are. But one area is often overlooked—imaging equipment. Printers, copiers, and multi-function devices scan and store data on hard drives, just like computers. Government offices should take care to ensure their imaging devices don’t pose a security threat.
Here are several ways government offices can boost the security of their imaging fleets:


Self-encrypting drives. A self-encrypting drive does just that. It automatically encrypts data so that it cannot be read by unwanted parties. Rather than leaving your drive vulnerable, self-encryption keeps your information safe and secure, and completely unusable to would-be hackers. Encryption might sound fancy, but it can be a lifesaver in the world of document security. Self-encrypting drives now come standard on some printer and MFPs, so keep this in mind when it’s time to upgrade the equipment in your government office.
User-authentication printing controls. Nothing beats accountability. When your staff knows that their actions are traceable back to them, it encourages proper security protocols. If a question arises regarding who printed a confidential document, the answer can easily be found. This means that your office can work together in protecting sensitive information, and your imaging devices can aid in the process.


Data shredding and hard drive destruction. Data shredding is essential when it comes to the security of documents—especially in government offices, where information is often confidential and classified. A hard drive destruction or “shredding” service can physically destroy the drive on an imaging device before the machine ever leaves your office. So, when your current equipment leases expire, or you decide to upgrade, make sure the hard drive has been wiped on your imaging device before you let anyone haul it away. After all, it’s impossible to tamper with something that no longer exists.


Image overwrite systems. These provide instant, scheduled, or on-demand overwrite features that allow system administrators the opportunity to erase all residual image data from the memory of the multifunction device. Overwriting is a great way to make sure old data is not clogging up space or causing a potentially dangerous situation. Familiarize yourself with the security features on your imaging hardware. You might be surprised to learn that your MFP already has the ability to batten down your security with overwrite capabilities.


OCR applications. OCR applications allow you to scan for hot button words or phrases. This provides a more targeted approach to document security. Simply seek out the documents containing sensitive material, and ensure that these documents—and their digital footprints—are being properly stored or destroyed.


To learn more about how to step up the security of your government documents, contact Imperial Copy Products. We have the expertise necessary to ensure your imaging devices are working for you at all times.