Informative Graphics Corporation, a leading provider of viewing, collaboration and intelligent redaction technology, today announced the availability of a new white paper titled Redaction Defined: Meeting Information Disclosure Requests with Secure Content Delivery. This paper discusses the challenges of protecting sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, while making public information available electronically in response to federal and state mandates. Using redaction software to automate the removal of sensitive content or privacy information, along with any hidden text and metadata, reduces the risk of having such information inadvertently revealed due to human error.
"Mandates such as the Freedom of Information Act, Openness in Government Act, and state-enacted Sunshine Laws are pressuring organizations to make public information available online in a secure manner," explained Gary Heath, CEO of Informative Graphics. "Until now technology that could eliminate privacy information from electronic documents delivered in bulk has been inadequate; however, advancements in this area now make online document disclosure a safer and more secure operation."
The Problem: Accessibility of Sensitive Information
The problem of electronically stored information such as property and tax records, motor vehicle information, court filings, military discharges, death certificates, health/medical records, financial statements, and insurance information falling into the wrong hands is increasing. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), incidences of identity theft are on the rise, and are costing businesses more than $50 billion annually while losses to individuals surpassed $5 billion. Given that the crime of identity theft has immense consequences to the victims and is both a criminal and civil threat, government agencies as well as public and private enterprises must be diligent in protecting against the disclosure of sensitive information to unauthorized parties.
The Challenge: Protecting Sensitive Information
Traditionally, companies as well as state and local governments have attempted to protect sensitive information by manually redacting it using tape and markers. This process is time-consuming and extremely labor-intensive, and the result may not be entirely accurate. Computer-based programs that perform manual redaction, while an improvement over the tape and marker method, are still too labor-intensive and time-consuming to meet organizations' needs. State and local governments are faced with the difficult task of protecting sensitive information while complying with legislation such as the Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act, and Openness in Government Act of 2005. The costs to comply are estimated at between $200,000 and $1.6 million per deployment, but these costs are outweighed by the significant litigation costs and damages resulting from a breach in security.
The Solution: Automated Intelligent Redaction Software
Automated intelligent redaction software is most efficient for bulk document processing "and as part of an overall redaction process as documents enter a workflow," the Redaction Defined white paper explains. Intelligent automated redaction solutions should be able to identify sensitive content by utilizing a text search method, a zone method, an algorithm, or pattern recognition. The text search method works best for consistent words or phrases such as variations of word forms including plural/singular, verb tenses, and misspelled words. The zone method works best for forms and images, removing a particular zone on a page as opposed to searching for specific text. The algorithm method works best in cases where content that should be redacted changes from document to document such as addresses, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers; in these cases, the redaction software searches for a keyword or phrase such as "social security number" and then redacts the necessary area algorithmically. Finally, the pattern recognition method searches for text with consistent patterns such as Social Security numbers in the format xxx-xx-xxxx or phone numbers in the format xxx-xxx-xxx or (xxx) xxx-xxxx.
Based on user-specified requirements, automated intelligent redaction software uses one of three methods to redact content: covering, encryption and removal. Covering content means is the least secure method. Encryption provides more security but the redacted content is still susceptible to computer hackers. The removal redaction method provides the most security because it completely removes sensitive content from a file.
The Redaction Defined white paper suggests that organizations consider the following when choosing redaction software: their current and anticipated needs including the level of security risk, regulatory requirements, type and/or volume of documents that need to be redacted, budget, personnel resources, and the usability of an electronic redaction product.
About Informative Graphics (IGC)
Informative Graphics Corporation (infograph.com), founded in 1990, is a leading developer of commercial software products for content visualization, secure publishing, and collaboration. Renowned for their cost-saving value, ease of use, features and scalability, ICG products are deployed by thousands of corporations in the United States and internationally. IGC maintains offices in the United States and has key distribution and OEM partners worldwide.
Informative Graphics is a registered trademark of Informative Graphics Corporation, and Redact-It is a trademark of Informative Graphics Corporation. All other names are the properties of their respective owners.