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Use Watermarks to Ensure Documents Are Properly Classified | LRS Secure Printing

Print Secure: Watermark Printing for Security

There are situations where you need to dynamically “classify” printed documents without requiring applications changes. In other words, you need to print sensitive documents with watermarks. For example, watermarks, timestamps and other metadata can be added to the document during the printing process to further safeguard information and prevent misuse.

When a user needs to print confidential data, watermarks are a powerful, visual aid that reminds users of the need to properly handle, protect and dispose of printed material. Obvious examples of watermarks include shaded text phrases like “Top Secret”, “Confidential”, and “Internal Use Only”. A watermark saying “Test” is one that is often overlooked. Yet it can be very useful in safeguarding information in perhaps a different way.

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Test Pages

When testing new applications and upgrades, printing is often a key element of the assurance process. It is not uncommon for printed documents to be left lying around in a development area, and sometimes well-intentioned employees mistake the test application output for the real thing. The net result of that situation could be that documents, (and possibly even the associated goods) with incorrect information might inadvertently be sent to suppliers, partners and customers. This is not only very embarrassing and a potential PR issue for the business, but these incidents can result in financial claims, a damaged reputation, and a lack of trust in the marketplace. Having a solid confidential data policy in place can prevent the possibility of these types of incidents.    

Micro font and tamper-proof print technology

It is also possible to leverage micro font technology to print date, time, user id and other metadata values on specific parts of the page with minimal impact to the visual appearance of the document. Then, for example, an organization could easily identify the owner of any misplaced document containing sensitive information. Again, this can be done without application changes, provided that the information is available to the print/output management software at processing time. Likewise, it is possible to add special tamper-proof features that indicate when someone has tried to tamper with or copy a sensitive document. 

Hardcopy documents are inherently vulnerable to copying and tampering. However, watermark printing and the adoption of a confidential data policy can prevent unauthorized copying, modification, and counterfeiting of printed documents.

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