Security and Data Privacy in the World of Customized Print Products: Challenges and Best Practices -- drupa - 2028 - Messe Düsseldorf

Security and Data Privacy in the World of Customized Print Products: Challenges and Best Practices

The customisation of print products still has the reputation as a lengthy and time-consuming process. Digital printing, new improved print technologies and the interconnection of systems make it possible to bring advertising close to the customer quickly and precisely.

Personalization and customization have long been essential elements of our marketing strategies. The level of personalization continues to grow, with print media successfully keeping pace with digital measures, utilizing customized marketing for advertising brochures, tailored books, and, traditionally, personalized business cards. While this level of adaptation undoubtedly brings many advantages, it is crucial to understand the associated challenges in handling sensitive data and to implement practices ensuring the security of our data.

The challenges for data security are diverse. Understanding the distinction between data protection and data security is crucial. Data protection concerns control over personal information, with measures aimed at protecting individuals from misuse. Companies managing and processing personal data have a duty to make this data inaccessible to unauthorized third parties, encompassing both personal and non-personal data.

Ensuring Data Privacy and Compliance

To guarantee data protection, compliance with applicable data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is of utmost importance. Sensitive data requires a particularly high level of protection to prevent legal consequences. The regulation, introduced in 2018, has transformed the landscape of media. Today, its presence is not always at the forefront of everyone's minds. Therefore, it is essential to remind ourselves of its principles.

After 5 years of GDPR, there are entire law firms and even AI that specialise in the regulation and are available to advise us.

We should take advantage of this, especially when implementing new technologies in our daily work. In 2023, there will be a lot of discussion about artificial intelligence and data security. It is not yet clear which AI we can use to personalise print media with legal certainty. 

To ensure information security, international standard certification is an option. ISO 27001 certification assesses your company and, in the process, sensitizes employees to the sensitivity of data.

Minimizing Security Risks

The sensitivity of data makes it an attractive target for hackers. Therefore, it is essential to implement robust security measures to prevent unauthorized access to this data. The more sensitive the data, the more care is necessary. There are now providers on the market focused on prevention. They not only examine certifications but also scrutinize your IT structures to identify potential security vulnerabilities for subsequent closure. An example is the company Sure [Secure] from Düsseldorf, which offers a data leak check and collaboratively defines measures to close the gap. Subsequently, they continuously monitor your IT structure.

Ensuring Data Integrity

An error in the data pool or data loss during the printing process can lead to faulty or incomplete printed materials. Therefore, ensuring data integrity is crucial to guarantee the quality of printed materials.

Data integrity revolves around the accuracy, completeness, and consistency of data, as well as its security within legal frameworks like data protection laws, CCPA and GDPR. To ensure data integrity, various processes, rules, and standards are implemented during the design phase. Once ensured, the information stored in a database remains accurate, complete, and trustworthy over the long term, regardless of how frequently it is accessed. Data integrity additionally safeguards against external influences.

Types of Data Integrity

There are two main types of data integrity: physical and logical integrity. Both require different processes and methods to ensure integrity in hierarchical and relational databases.

Physical Integrity

Physical integrity focuses on the accuracy and completeness of data during storage and use. Natural disasters, power outages or hacking can affect physical integrity. User error, memory erosion and similar problems can also result in people who need to access the data not receiving the correct information.

Logical Integrity

Logical integrity ensures that data remains unchanged during its use in a relational database. It protects against hackers and user errors in a different way than physical integrity. Within logical integrity, there are four main types:

  1. Entity Integrity: Identification of data components through primary keys or unique values to ensure data is not duplicated in the database, and no field in the table has a null value.
  1. Referential Integrity: Ensures data is stored and used uniformly by embedding rules for the use of foreign keys into the database structure.
  1. Domain Integrity: Ensures the correctness of each individual data element in a domain, with a domain representing the acceptable values a column can contain.
  1. User-Defined Integrity: Rules and constraints defined by the user for specific business rules to provide additional protection when entity, domain, and referential integrity alone are insufficient.

Promoting Customer Transparency

Transparency in handling sensitive data is crucial. Customers should be informed about how their data is used and protected to build trust and foster acceptance of customization.

Best Practices for the Secure Handling of Sensitive Data

  1. Encryption: Implement robust end-to-end encryption for sensitive data during transmission and storage. Use proven encryption algorithms and update regularly to adhere to the latest security standards. This ensures that even in the event of data transmission, only authorized individuals can decrypt the information.
  1. Access Control: Establish strict access controls by implementing roles and permissions. Grant access only to those employees directly involved in the creation of print products. Monitor and log access to respond immediately in case of unauthorized access.
  1. Anonymization and Pseudonymization: Reduce the risk of data breaches by anonymizing or pseudonymizing personal data, if not strictly necessary for the printing process. This can be achieved by removing or replacing identifying information while preserving data integrity.
  1. Regular Training: Organize regular training sessions for employees to ensure awareness of data protection regulations and security protocols. Communicate the importance of responsible handling of sensitive data and provide regular updates on new developments in data security.
  1. Data Deletion: Implement a clear process for the secure and final deletion of data after completing the print job. Ensure that deleted data cannot be recovered to minimize the risk of data leaks. Use secure deletion algorithms if necessary.
  1. Regular Security Audits: Conduct regular security audits to identify and address vulnerabilities in the system. Review physical security measures as well as digital security protocols to ensure compliance with current standards. Consider the security practices of external print service providers as well.

Implementing these measures requires an integrated and proactive security strategy. Companies should ensure their employees are well-trained, their systems are up to date with security technology, and regular reviews are conducted to establish a robust defense against potential security risks.

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