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In pursuit of the paperless workplace.


NOTHING IN INDUStrial security can turn hair prematurely gray as swiftly as classified document control. A document unaccounted for can cause many unpleasant hours, first attempting to locate it, then investigating and reporting the incident. Such an incident can cost a company credibility as well as valuable contracts. In extreme cases, lost documents can force a company's chief executive officer to testify before Congress. Larry Kitchen, CEO of Lockheed Corporation, was required to do just that.

Fortunately, lost documents are normally just temporarily unaccounted for and most often turn up somewhere in the system during investigation. Unfortunately, with current security practices, no hard copy document is safe from undetected compromise. Documents that are accounted for and appropriately protected can still be removed, copied, and replaced without detection.

Removing paper is just too easy. Our society and laws do not allow the types of security measures required to prevent determined individuals from removing hard copy documents from secure areas. Thomas Cavanaugh removed classified documents from the Northrop Corporation by sewing pockets inside the lining of his overcoat and walking out with them filled. Neither the security nor the auditing procedures in effect at the time prevented or detected this activity.

Bar coding is currently a favorite industry technique for document auditing and control. It quickly and efficiently logs a document in or out of a control system and provides reliable information on where a document resides, at least at the moment it is scanned. Bar coding does not, however, supply information about what happens to the document at any other time. Nor does it prevent a document from being removed in the lining of an overcoat.

The best safeguard against people such as Cavanaugh is to eliminate hard copy classified documentation. Computer technology has now progressed to the point where documents can reside exclusively on an integrated imaging system. Such a system has many advantages over other document control methods. First, it eliminates the need for actual hard copy documentation. The documents are stored on-line and are easily available to those with authorized access, but only on monitors in approved areas.

Second, the system's secure operating system provides constant protection from unauthorized access. The system administrator can limit access to the system, its functions, files, terminals, printers, and communications links to other networks, devices, and locations as desired. This feature prevents not only unauthorized access but also unauthorized processing and distribution.

Third, automatic audit trails and reports of system, file, function, and personnel activity are provided and can be tailored to the requirements of the system administrator and the customer. This system virtually eliminates the possibility of an attempted compromise going undetected by anyone.

If hard copy material must be transmitted to a location that does not have an integrated imaging system, it is sent from the only system printer, which is located in the classified document control (CDC) office, ensuring documents are properly accounted for. Only program personnel with the authority to print can queue a document to the printer. CDC personnel then decide whether to allow the document to be printed. Additionally, the system can be programmed to print a document with appropriate markings that include the control number, cover sheet, and document receipt.

RECOMMENDING AN INTEGRATED imaging system to management based solely on its ability to improve security significantly may not be possible or prudent. Security is an overhead expense and often viewed as a necessary evil. Most program managers want at least a solid understanding, if not real evidence, of a positive return on investment before approving such a purchase. One argument is that the system increases management communication and information flow, reclaims document storage areas for other uses, and cuts costs dramatically.

A critical management function is effective and efficient information dissemination. Improving this function gives a business a competitive edge. Documentation can be entered directly into an image system from several sources simultaneously. Information is thus made available to all authorized users much more rapidly than is possible with hard copy.

Documents containing text, diagrams, photographs, or charts can be scanned into the system as easily as they can be copied on a copier. Documents sent by fax as well as information from another computer or network can be entered directly. Entering information by keyboard, as is the case with any computer system, is also an option.

For an illustration of the system's advantages, consider a typical classified request for quote (RFQ) with a 15-day response deadline. Fifteen days is not long to produce a professional competitive quote that meets the requirements and still makes a profit. Processing, reproduction, and distribution should not cost valuable time.

Using hard copy, CDC personnel log in the document, which is then sent to the reproduction center for the appropriate number of copies to be made. The cover sheet, document number, and receipt are then affixed to each copy. Finally, each office or person receiving a copy must pick up and sign for the document. All these steps are labor-intensive activities for employees.

With an integrated imaging system, the same document is scanned into the system and automatically distributed to authorized personnel in near real time. If desired, information can be further disseminated by each original recipient so that others in his or her department may read it and respond. Responses can be attached directly to the document. All this is accomplished with a few keystrokes rather than going back to the CDC office for more copies or writing notes on the document itself. This system also prevents personnel from making bootleg copies for distribution. Again, the system is faster, more efficient, and less costly.

Another very attractive feature of the system is its ability to store vast numbers of documents either as an archive or on-line, both in magnetic media and optical disk. This frees up space currently necessary for hard-copy document storage. Approximately eight five-drawer file cabinets' worth of documents can be placed on one optical disk. If required, the system expands to allow up to 182 million pages of documentation to be accessed simultaneously on-line by multiple users.

INTEGRATED IMAGING SYSTEMS INterface with most other commonly found systems, so existing equipment can be used. Systems are available in both TEMPEST-approved and commercial versions and will directly interface with government furnished equipment and commercial type-one encryption devices, including secure fax machines. The savings in paper, reproduction, and work hours all improve the corporate bottom line, as does the absence of serious security incidents.

The paperless secure environment makes not only good security sense but also good business sense. More often than not, computer technology presents new problems to be considered, deciphered, and dealt with. This time, however, it provides a solution to a problem that has been around for years. Integrated imaging systems and a paperless secure environment are the way of the future - and available today.

Walt H. Foultz, CPP, is senior corporate security manager for the western operations area of Wang Laboratories. He is a member of the ASIS Standing Committee on Government Security and chairman of its Subcommittee on Legislation.

PHOTO : Integrated imaging systems can provide constant protection from unauthorized access and eliminate the possibility of an attempted compromise.
COPYRIGHT 1990 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:integrated imaging systems for a paperless secure environment
Author:Foultz, Walt H.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Jan 1, 1990
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