Terminology - Hard Copy Sensitive Data

Posted on 2011-03-23
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
What is the correct terminology / management term for handling off paper copies of sensitive data? Is there any standard best practice in this area for appropriate handling of hard copy documents that contain sensitive data? If I knew what this control area / management area was called I could research it further to see what employees handling sensitive print copies should do to prevent losing it, disclosing it to inappropriate parties etc.

I am sure PCI must cover this for CC details printed out etc, thats another thing actually sensitive data sat in printers trays.
Question by:pma111
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Expert Comment

ID: 35197231
I have not heard anything other than "sensitive or confidential documents". Have you heard anything other than this or is this just a curiosity?

Accepted Solution

m_walker earned 80 total points
ID: 35197256
In australia we refer to the general area as "records management" This covers any data "records" that must be managed as part of doing business.  It then covers things like paper-based, electronic, storage and transfer of records, and so on.  

Author Comment

ID: 35197319

I wasnt on about the classifacation of the document per se, more the handling of the document when its in hard form (paper/report), I wasnt sure if this was known as "information handling" or similar
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Author Comment

ID: 35197341
m_walker - re paper based, was there any best practice on do's and dont's and how you can check your staff are adhereing to this best practice when they have sensitive data in hard-copy form, or any suggested training for staff?

Expert Comment

ID: 35197403
Its been a while as someone else took on that project.

Have a look at :
Remember this is and AU guideline.

I do know that ensuring your staff are adhereing to best practice will be based around your policies and procedures and how you audit those.

For example.  Lets say you want to make sure documents from the HR office are shreded.  Then the policy might say "All HR Docs must be shreded".  The procedure might say "Ensure you collect all old docs into the "to be shreded" box.  secure the shredder and as you shread each document, record the document ID as shredded.

So the "recorded" bit provides the audit trail.  The last step is to check the audit log.  If it has too few lines then the procedure is not being followed

Assisted Solution

vinaypatki earned 40 total points
ID: 35204493

BS7799 standard for information security management will cover all aspects of data storage/mgmt including hard copies.

Assisted Solution

InfoStranger earned 80 total points
ID: 35205213
In the USA, we call it document retention.  There are no standards or best practices for discarding documents.  Keep in mind US government can create a standard on how you discard your documents.  If you want to keep them private from others, you should be as stringent as possible.  Keep in mind that most standards are usually so general that it will not tell you how to discard your documents in detail.  If they did, the government is not very wise because all the criminals will just try to figure out the ways to reverse the documents and use it against you.  Best Practice may work for one organization but too expensive for others and it is only a recommendation.

Recommendations on a safer discarding of documents: (I suggest all 3 together)
1) if you shred your own paper documents, use a crosscut shredder so it is not as easily put together
2) when throwing away documents, mix the documents with other shredded documents
3) split the shredded documents into different trash cans

Or you can always hire a reputable shredding company to take it away and discard.

Some people start a bonfire and sing Kumbayah while burning the documents.  ha ha ha...  Actually, it is true.

Expert Comment

ID: 35205253
side comment: (dont mean to steal the thread)
A few years back I was doing a job at a metal processing plant.  Out of nowhere, we got a "tools down" order and moved over.  then about 10 Men come in all in suites and one had a breif case.  The proceded to the furnace, one of the men went to the man with the breif case and unlocked on lock, then  a 2nd did the other side.  The opened the case took out some hard drives and threw them into the furnance.  The then waited for about 1/2hr then left and we could return to work.

So you could try that LOL.

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