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With cyber threats and data theft advancing at a rapid pace, the need to prioritise the security of sensitive information is paramount. High-profile data breaches, such as the Optus and Medibank breaches of 2022, only reiterate what we already know: confidential information is an increasingly lucrative target for malicious actors.

However, while 63% of data breaches in Australia come from malicious or criminal attacks, an astonishingly high 33% come from human error. This further underscores the importance of ensuring your organisation has a comprehensive approach to document confidentiality that also protects sensitive documents from unauthorised internal access or avoidable mishaps that cause data leakage.

What is considered confidential information?

Your corporate information is valuable which is why confidential documents that contain sensitive information need to be protected from malicious intent or erroneous exposure. There are two main types of confidential information. First, there is information that is deemed confidential by the law, such as privacy laws that protect customer data. Second, there is information that has been defined as confidential in a contract, such as a non-disclosure agreement that prevents employees from sharing certain information outside the business.

Other business information that is not automatically protected by law or a contract can still be deemed confidential. For example, trade secrets are defined as confidential information that’s valuable to your business. However, it’s particularly difficult to regulate in a court of law, meaning improper disclosure could be difficult and costly to resolve. This highlights how important it is for business leaders to ensure that they have absolute confidence in their security infrastructure and its capacity to protect critical information.

How to ensure document confidentiality in your organisation

Poor document security can usually be chalked up to a lack of oversight, excessive manual data entry, paper record-keeping and unprotected information retrieval processes. No one wants to deal with the fallout from these breaches that otherwise could be avoided, as it can lead to legal liability, lost business opportunities and a stained reputation. So here are three ways to ensure document confidentiality in your organisation:

1. Have clear and well-communicated policies

Establishing well-defined policies and processes regarding who is authorised to access, edit and approve specific documents - and at what level - is crucial for every organisation. From there, it’s best practice to communicate the policies to employees and train them on the importance of information security and document confidentiality. 

By understanding the risks and how to mitigate them, your staff will be better equipped to handle confidential and proprietary information with caution and sensitivity. This should include training on protecting information across the entire document lifecycle and encouraging staff to report any suspicious or unauthorised access to data promptly.  

2. Secure your print environment

Companies would never allow an unprotected computer in their network, so why would they allow an unprotected printer? Printers plug into business networks just like computers do, however, they’re often an often-overlooked backdoor to your systems. That’s why it’s important for your organisation to consider the security posture of your print environment and how to achieve ultimate protection against threats. It’s critical that you choose devices that meet the standards of your organisation’s security and confidentiality policies. Centralising the management of your fleet will also help ensure that the appropriate security settings and features have been incorporated across every connected printing device.

Having printing devices with complete end-to-end security is key to stopping threats while giving you peace of mind that you’re dealing with reliable equipment. For example, our award-winning TASKalfa 3554ci series has state-of-the-art security features such as device encryption to improve data integrity and keep confidential information safe and intelligent detection of unapproved changes or access. 

3. Implement a document management system 

With a document management system, your organisation can benefit from a cloud-native infrastructure that offers greater security measures and enables agile responses to emerging threats. A smart document management system ensures the secure storage, management, sharing and creation of digital files. It presents organisations with a comprehensive solution that places document security at the forefront of all operations through automated digital workflows, allowing you to streamline and control your document environment. Not only does this eliminate the risk of paper copies being lost, stolen or destroyed, but it also improves workplace productivity by reducing manual errors and simplifying audit trails. 

Your document management system should allow authorised personnel to access, store and share documents efficiently and securely, using encryption to prevent the treacherous use of confidential information. The security features also extend to the safe archiving of documents in accordance with industry retention policies, as well as the deletion and destruction of them in a compliant manner.

As data privacy and document confidentiality continue to be key concerns for businesses, employees and customers, document management practices need to be airtight to avoid significant and potentially costly risks. The interplay of print and document security is increasingly complex in the era of remote work. But Kyocera customers can count on our industry-leading expertise and proven ability to protect their business. Download our guide to learn more about our specialised document security solutions.