Why scan to email is a risky undertaking

Employees who mindlessly scan to email may put organisations’ security at risk and fail to comply with privacy requirements according to Y Soft.

Scanning to email eliminates the need to use a computer to send a scanned document to a recipient. Instead, the scanning device itself sends the document. This provides a fast, easy way to distribute printed information electronically but it also carries security risks.

Adam O’Neill, managing director - Australia, Y Soft, said, “The scan to email functionality is great in the right scenario but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t enable encryption, so the scanned document won’t be secure.

“That may be acceptable in some cases where employees are transmitting innocuous documents. However, if the documents contain any business-specific information or information that could be considered private under Australian legislation, then using the scan to email function isn’t the right move.”

Y Soft recommends scanning to network folders and then emailing the documents from an email client, as this provides greater security and the ability to encrypt the contents of the email.

Adam O’Neill said, “Better yet, take advantage of the advanced technology available with document workflow systems and implement a workflow. In fact, workflows can be customised for particular tasks by user or groups of users. This approach takes the complexity out of scanning and eliminates the extra step of emailing without compromising security.”

There are five key benefits to using a workflow to distribute scanned material digitally:

1. It meets digital security requirements by providing end-to-end encryption and PDF security via a password.

2. You can set up custom workflows with one-click to scan to reduce errors and automate processes such as invoice scanning. This saves time and lets administrative staff focus on value-adding activities.

3.  You can also track and analyse what’s been scanned by user, departments or locations, and you can audit it for security leads and, to understand overall usage trends.

4.  It’s easier to search and retrieve items that have been scanned, which saves time if you need to access them again.

5.  You can set a predefined workflow that sends the document to cloud or on-premise systems including file servers, Microsoft SharePoint and Dropbox for businesses.