These days, just about every business leader recognizes the need for data security. Hardly a day goes by without another report of a company suffering a data breach, along with all of the devastating consequences that typically accompany these incidents. The damage from these events will often include tremendous fines due to regulatory violations and, even worse, a tarnished reputation. Consumers and businesses alike recognize the importance of keeping their information safe, and they'll avoid any company that has a history of data breaches.

When business leaders or industry experts talk about data security today, the odds are they're going to be focused on cybersecurity best practices, hacking prevention and related issues. However, it's critical to realize that data security isn't just about the digital realm – it also applies to physical documents. To keep themselves safe, and to give their customers peace of mind and confidence, businesses need to make their documents as secure as possible. This goes beyond simply keeping documents safe and secret – it also requires organizations to choose the right types of physical products. With built-in security features, the documents themselves can play a key role in protecting sensitive information and ensuring the authenticity of records.

With that in mind, here's a quick look at which documents are most likely to need an advanced level of protection, as well as some of the most important document security features to embrace.

Secure documents
Just about every business will have documents that it needs to secure in order to protect its sensitive information from potential exposure. In some cases, the only way to go about this is to keep the documents in a safe place and limit their availability. In others, though, choosing physical paper products with built-in security will go a long way toward keeping information safe and the organization as a whole compliant.

Consider, for example, prescription pads. Naturally, it's incredibly important for hospitals, pharmacies and other care providers to ensure that all prescriptions that are being fulfilled are using authorized, legitimate prescription forms. One way to prevent counterfeiting and fraud in this area is by utilizing prescription pads with built-in security features, such as watermarks. Those filling the prescriptions can then easily see whether the paper before them is what it claims to be. 

Similarly, businesses can turn to secure document features to ensure the authenticity of their checks. This can help to cut down on fraud and save companies both money and time as a result.

Here are just a few other examples of document types that would benefit greatly from an advanced level of security and anti-fraud measures:

  • College transcripts
  • Hospital records
  • Insurance documents
  • Certificates and deposits
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Titles of ownership
  • Tickets

In all of these cases, the physical paper documents have the potential to add a much-needed layer of protection, but this is only possible when businesses choose print services providers that can offer advanced document security features.

Document security features
So what are these features exactly? There are many possibilities, each of which is worth considering.

  • Watermarks: As mentioned already, watermarks are a key example of a highly effective document security feature. A true, high-quality watermark will reveal a negative image when exposed to reflected light and a positive image in transmitted light – a combination that cannot be counterfeited.
  • Visible fibers: Some print manufacturers can embed colored fibers randomly into both sides of a given piece of paper stock. Again, this is a feature that counterfeiters will not be able to replicate and copies will lack this feature.
  • Invisible fluorescent fibers: On a similar note, printers can include fluorescent fibers in the paper stock, which become visible under UV light. 
  • TechMark® PenTick Plus™: A proprietary document security feature, documents receiving this treatment will display a temporary mark when touched by the TechMark PenTick Plus™.
  • Indicator stains – These stains only become visible when the document is exposed to certain agents, including bleaches or acids. As a result, it becomes easy to see if anyone attempted to alter the contents of the document, preventing fraud.

With these document security features, organizations can protect their most important documents and records from the threats posed by forgery, fraud and alteration.