“A security breach could bring down an empire in no time”. We all agree that that’s a must-know for anyone coming from any industry verticals, size or type. What and how and many other questions does surround when we hear the words ‘Security Breach’? In simple words could merely cause many situations such as a prescription lying on a busy medical counter or handling customers financial data or banking information or rather your company’s way of handling faxing system.
These said industries and businesses have to deal with communicating and transferring such confidential information and sensitive data. Not only organizations who have adapted unsecured faxing system but also those who think their current security measures is completely protected are standing & welcoming at the gates for data & identities to be stolen in the blink of an eye.
Here is a list of few checkpoints for you to analyze if you are committing to any of these risk exposures:
1) Fax Machine Location: Is your fax machine lying on passageway to the meeting room or kept at the end of the corner for the easy way through, either way, your faxes are lying out there open with confidential data for passers-by to have a look at it. Creating a better channel between the department and their respective needs & access to business’ faxing system might be helpful. Moreover, external security measures, locked doors, I.D card and finger scan access, etc are few more preventive steps can be taken to eliminate risk exposure. Keep in mind that losing confidential information can not only harm business reputation but also can lead to license revoke and a higher probability of a lawsuit or fine.
2) Fax Content: The information that any fax contains can vary but most of the time, faxes carry some kind of important data or information. Such as billing information, unique identifying numbers such as social security, account access keys, license keys, codes & passwords, patient reports, financial information, individual history, confidential agreements, etc. Whether that information is pertaining to concerning customers, vendors, dealers, etc., as long as the document has names and confidential information makes it easier for identity theft.
3) Off Hour Access: The usual business hours and daytime are still considerably easy to monitor for any suspicious activity. However, since business does have global clients and adhering to the need of the hour of International clients is part and parcel of business. More importantly, you can’t leave faxes unattended for minutes, hours or days. Hence, to manage clients needs means adjusting the resource timings to be available to both send and receive faxes. Remember that physical security measures such as passwords, finger scans, and access key codes will not protect you completely.
4) Document File Size: If the fax size you are going to receive or send is small in size say of few pages is fine as compared to several other faxes which comprise of tens of pages long. Such long documents could take several minutes and the intended recipients might not be standing or the fax transmission takes longer time creating an easy gap of an interval in security for the document to tamper with information.
5) Share Fax Numbers: Considering fax equipment and maintenance cost like toner, paper, ink, etc., companies have to utilize the resources at optimum level and hence, typically one machine serves several people within the organization creating more opportunities and opening room for document mix-up, misplacing or losing it and tampered data. It is quite obvious that if more people using a machine will lead to higher chances of risk exposure, security breach, and identity theft.
6) Evidence Of Receipt: It is equally important to make sure that once the fax is sent, it has reached and received by the intended recipient to avoid any kind of breach. One need to equally evaluate the security environment of the other side as well. Does the organization or department to whom you are sending a fax to follow or practice precaution? Do they share a central faxing system for everyone with open access? Your company might be secure with respect to faxing system and transmission but what about the company that you are sending your faxes to?
7) Fax History Report: As most fax machines could typically save and maintain a short history report of all the send and received faxes. Details such as phone number, pages, date/time can easily be retrieved. But there are limitations because of which faxes which were sent a long time back can’t be retrieved.
Even after following a strict code of conduct or placing higher bets on security measurements there could be instances where you couldn’t keep an eye on every single detail for optimum security in the transmission of mobile faxing. So, What can you do? Well certainly, you could increase the internal security within the company, increase data security of computers via firewall or merely establish stringent policies and implement organizational rules within company guidelines to have a more secure environment for online fax transmission service. These actions can act in the best interest of your company but only as a precaution measure and stricter industry standards but still, the risk remains.