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Make sure your printing solution is POPI compliant

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The protection of personal information has come under the spotlight again with the battle between the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Apple, which saw the two giants argue the merits of guarding private data, writes Paul Wendlandt, customer services support manager at Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa.
While we may not have the FBI trying to access data stored in our devices in South Africa, we do have the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) which considers personal information to be precious goods, and assigns the responsibility of protecting those personal goods to companies – like yours.
Your compliance officer may have done a full audit of your database security, your firewalls, your password protocols, and may even gone so far as to provide everyone with notebooks that don’t allow memory sticks, all in the interests of preventing data theft or loss. But have they looked to the printers and multifunction devices that serve just about everyone in the business to see whether this particular fleet complies with POPI?
The document output environment is potentially one of the most vulnerable points for data theft in any organisation, whether it’s because someone has left a confidential document lying in the out tray instead of collecting it, or whether the device is storing data on a hard drive.
Kyocera Document Solutions has compiled this easy checklist for you to verify whether your document management solution is part of your defence against information theft and data loss – or whether it’s the weakest link.
* ¬Does your document solution provide products and services that ensure a secure managed document environment?
* Have your IT hardware and software team, your procurement team, and your document solutions service provider all worked together to design a plan to manage documents for the duration of their lifecycle in your environment, to make sure that your document flow is aligned with your business process?
* Having WiFi printers makes things so much more efficient – but WiFi can be the hidden backdoor that hackers use to gain access to your network. Does your multifunction device’s WiFi have adequate protection?
* Many multifunction devices can store data, with many having the ability to be pre-programmed to delete data after a given time period. Have you set this up on your business’s devices – and do you know how to delete the stored files when the device contract ends and you hand it back to the supplier?
* Does your multifunction device work with a dedicated print server armed with print management software, to protect against hackers gaining access to the device’s storage?
* Does your document solution include a secure print release function, to make sure that only the person who printed the document is able to pick up from the out-tray?
* Does your chosen solution offer integrated security software and other products to remove any vulnerabilities from the output device? Kyocera, as an example, has developed Data Security Kits for businesses to protect the data on their multifunction printers and printers, establishing a deterrent for unauthorised access and activity.
At Kyocera, we focus on improving the flow of documents to ensure business processes flow easily as well as securely through an organisation and are placed in a secure storage environment.
This means that all legislation needs are considered during the design phase of our consulting process, and that POPI is just one of the considerations that are included for compliance during the testing phase when a solution is being evaluated against a customer’s needs.