Federal government trials secure fax

A federal government agency is currently trialling software that secures rogue fax lines on multi-function devices (MDF).

The software from Canon Australia will begin shipping next month.

Dubbed Secure Fax for MEAP (Multi-functional Embedded Application Platform) it works via an internal address book held on the fax server where scanned documents for faxing are sent by corporate network users.

The fax server then checks against integrated policies and addresses. The product has been designed for Canon ImageRunner devices.

Secure Fax is only one of the security applications developed by Canon, the other being Secure Print for MEAP and a product called Right Fax.

Secure print for MEAP is a mixture of procedures and software applications which are "typical in offices where people forget they have printed things" according to Canon Australia marketing manager David Gradwell.

Secure print for MEAP also involves a swipe card and a document management system.

Gradwell said Secure Fax was jointly developed from Canon Information Systems Research Australia (CISRA), Canberra based developer BNS and Captaris, and already has a number of government departments as customers.

However, the new package, Secure Fax for MFD, will be released next month.

"Our concern is that MFDs connected to a PSDN line can send a fax independently of the corporate network, and many companies already have a fax server environment which does provide an extra level of security," Gradwell said.

"But if an MFD with a fax card in it has a connected telephone line there is the potential to bypass security and we have built the MEAP application to allow the fax functionality on the MFD to act as a gateway to the fax server.

"This offers further security around the identification of the computer user and we are just in the process of releasing a secure log-in application for MEAP which uses a proximity reader to identify the user and it then monitors the user's activity and is also good for cost accounting."

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