Corporate organisations and small businesses alike are all now required to think carefully about how they are handling the sensitive data of their employees. The GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, came into effect earlier this year. This now means businesses need to have a clear plan of action for any data they may request, process, share or otherwise use. ID cards are one such facet of important corporate data which, if in the wrong hands, could result in serious harm to both a company and its individuals.

With GDPR and this renewed data protection focus in mind, it is a perfect time to consider your current ID card printer security and ask yourself, are you printing ID cards securely enough?  Are you using effective visual security? Below are five important points all corporate organisations will need to consider moving forward.

1. Using A Security-Enhanced Printer

While ID card printers do still come in all ranges and forms, it’s never been more important to choose a model which offers security features during the printing process. These provide smart data wiping as well as being fitted with a variety of visual security enhancements to protect ID cards from being copied or counterfeited. Visual security can be checked by sight but cannot be easily replicated, such as holograms, watermarks and microtext. These are widely used to prevent cards from being copied and to assure legitimacy.

2. Are You Securing Your Printer?

As much as it is important to secure the cards you are printing, it’s just as important to consider how you are physically securing your printing devices.  Who has access to the equipment?  Do you allow certain personnel to access your ID card printer with approval beforehand, or do they have access to a room code?  It is worth considering who has access to your ID card printing equipment as it’s essential that all staff are vetted and verified before they have a direct route through to any associated systems. You may wish to have your ID card printer under a constant monitor, perhaps through a closed-circuit camera. Or you may choose to use a Kensington lock that physically secures the device, the internal ribbons, and any cards which may or may not be used.  Locking everything down when a printer is not in use is an extra level of safety which is well worth considering.

3. How Do Staff Use Their Cards?

This point enters the realms of company policy, but it’s a point well worth considering if you are serious about ensuring the security of any ID cards which are to be printed.  ID cards are generally used to gain access to certain rooms and departments, to confirm identity and can also be used to swipe in and swipe out.  Many businesses allow their employees to retain their ID cards when they leave work – meaning that, effectively, they take this sensitive information home with them. While printing ID cards, it is perhaps worthwhile considering either retaining the cards in a secure locker when leaving the premises or prohibiting staff from wearing their ID outside of work.  An employee wearing staff ID outside of work could give away sensitive information. It may be time to consider how much data you include on cards you print, or what you allow your staff to do with them when they leave.

4. Do You Outsource?

For a lot of businesses, outsourcing their ID card printing is the best solution. With GDPR having been implemented, it’s time to consider your exact strategy with regard to how your print said cards.  With GDPR, you are also held responsible if any third party misuses this data.  If you are outsourcing your ID card printing, you are going to need this company to outline their own GDPR policy – what are they going to do with the data you pass across?  Will they retain it?  Who has access?  Will they destroy all used cards and ribbons securely? It’s extremely beneficial for you to know this information.

5. Destroy Everything Securely

Finally, and perhaps the most obvious point to make, is that you should be destroying anything disposable and tangible related to your ID card printing as soon as it has been used up.  This includes printer ribbons, cards, IDs belonging to ex-employees – you are going to need to destroy or shred this data securely. There are no excuses when it comes to protecting sensitive corporate data.