The next security worry - the photocopier

Multi-function devices have grown into security risks, or so vendors claim.

The Enron Shredder

Making paper secure in the digital age will never be a watertight business, even if every security measure imaginable is rolled out to plug the problem. Sometimes this theme hits home in unexpected ways. An important influence on the compliance overhauls of the last half decade was the Enron fraud, in which the defining device wasn't a printer, a scanner or even a copier - it was the infamous papers shredders used to attempt to destroy an accounting trail that could have indicated fraud. Remarkably, some shredded documents only existed in paper form.

No technology can defend against this type of complex information scam, the manipulation of paper trails, and it's one reason why companies spend large sums backing up every conceivable document.

But companies could just be at the start of a world where nothing makes it into a physical form without that piece of paper being tied to an individual, possibly with the information being embedded into the printed matter itself. The employee has for some time being what they create, what the email, and what they browse. They should also be what they print.

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