GDPR and Your Print Environment

The new European Union General Data Protection Regulations, or the GDPR, is a hot topic of discussion which has been flying around in the media and in workplaces for quite some time now. Let’s take a more in-depth look at it and more specifically, what it might mean for your business and for your print environment.

What do we know about GDPR already?

GDPR has been designed to prevent breaches of security as well as the loss of personal data by any organisations which may hold or process Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

This new legislation will affect all organisations which supply goods or offer services, (including free goods or services) and it also affects organisations which monitor the behaviour of EU citizens.

The fact that the legislation will affect organisations of all sizes could have some pretty big ramifications for small businesses and charitable organisations which simply can’t afford to get hit by big fines; up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover depending on which is higher.

The GDPR are going to be a lot stricter than the Data Protection Directive which it will be replacing and with the penalties for breaking the rules predicted to be considerable, the subject is a serious one for all businesses.

The new legislation will come into play on 25th May 2018 and the UK will have to conform to the new rules regardless of Brexit.

How does this affect print environment?

It’s easy to forget just how powerful today’s printers are. Their internal hard disks have the capacity to store vast amounts of information and where information is stored, there’s a potential problem in waiting.

In busy offices, particularly offices which employ a number of part-time staff who might not always communicate well, there’s a lot of risk.

Within many offices, there’s often a tendency for staff to scan or print documents from mobile devices or computers and then move to the next task without even considering the fact that sensitive information has just been passed from device to device and is now stored in at least two areas…and that’s not even taking into account abandoned print jobs with hard-copies potentially left lying around.

This must change. Any organisation today which wants to keep their client data safe and stay on the right side of the GDPR, needs to take a close look at both the habits of their staff and at their equipment.

Losing data which contains client’s financial details, personal details or any private business information such as NDA’s or contracts, could have very serious consequences.

What can you do?

In the immediate, you can educate your staff about the implications of the GDPR and fully explain what it means for your business. This is best approached through both printed information and via discussion. Offering your staff the opportunity to ask questions will ensure that any changes you need to make are fully understood.

It’s wise to wipe the hard drives of any of your current printers or copiers, so that confidential information is eliminated. A managed print system would help improve your information security, whilst simultaneously saving time and reducing damage to the environment.

Instigating change is something which may take a little time as new programmes are installed or new devices built in which will help to lock-down all of the data which passes through your business.

Change is coming; don’t be left on the wrong side of the law as far as data protection is concerned!

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