Physical paper uploaded in a secure manner?

Posted on 2012-08-30
Last Modified: 2012-09-04
Hello Experts! Hoping that someone out there can help solve an issue that we're facing. Here it goes:

We have consultants out in the field that need to get hard copies of paperwork into our system, but aren't allowed to scan them to their local drives to email. We've considered setting up an electronic fax line for them to send the documents to (that goes into a bit-bucket email address or public folder), but we don't want to have to monitor this account for their files and many of them could be urgent that need to get loaded into our system. The documents that they are dealing with are sensitive in nature and we can't think of any other way to get these hard copies uploaded in some way that is secure.

Question by:nreich
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    There are a number of decent encryption applications some for free or cheap.  Some of these even feature encryption of documents as they are scanned.  The files could be scanned and encrypted to their local hard drive then e-mailed to the appropriate person in your office.  The encryption is pretty secure.

    Note, If the company is worried about softcopies on a hard drive, but the consultants are in the field with the hardcopies in their laptop case instead, you are no better off!

    However if scan/encrypt/send is a non-starter, you may consider setting up virtual private networking.  Politically, this may be the path of least resistance and has other advantages as well.

    As an example, for a company with a SonicWALL firewall, you can license x users to use SonicWALL's "Global VPN Client" (GVC).  It is quite secure as long as the user does NOT allow the software to "save" their password.

    With a VPN client, the user could scan directly onto a corporate server and use internal e-mail if needed.  Even though the document is NOT encrypted, its transmission IS encrypted by the VPN tunnel to corporate.

    Since the user is "inside" the corporate network, it is as if they are sitting at their desk with all the advantages that entails except physical access to their desk and desk phone.

     - Tom

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for your assistance on this Tom! Some very good suggestions.

    I think the "work-around" that we've decided to put in place is link an electronic fax number (eFax) to an Exchange public folder, where the folder will be monitored and those documents will be uploaded into our system once received. It's tough to look past the issues of security/encryption on the local drives and email system on devices that are out of our own control.

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