Securing Print Changes

Daphne Allen

There�s a code in your future, but will it be a secure code?

Charles Geraldi, director of sales and marketing for Adolph Gottscho Inc., asked this question of attendees at Hewlett-Packard�s (HP) Digital Printing Conference and Exhibition. Geraldi spoke during a breakout meeting held between conference sessions. The event was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 13�14, 2003.

FDA�s interest in bar coding and anticounterfeiting efforts has drawn attention to printers that produce variable data quickly and economically. Providers of ink-jet, thermal-transfer, and digital printers, for instance, report increased interest. As users work to find the best technique for their needs, one issue that is emerging is securing the processes that allow quick changes in bar codes, lot and serial numbers, and expiration dates.

Geraldi says that maintaining system security should be a priority for any digital printing process. �Traditional print mats are secure by nature,� Geraldi explained. With a long history of providing platen printers for in-line web printing, Gottscho recently started marketing digital printers. The firm now offers systems using HP�s thermal ink-jet technology under the name GottJet. �Digital printing is easy, but it is also easy to alter it. Anyone can access what is being printed. So it needs to be secured.�

Gottscho�s solution is to provide a Windows-based graphical user interface with what Geraldi calls a security shell. �Access to various system levels requires valid user IDs and passwords, providing electronic signatures for 21 CFR Part 11 compliance,� he said.

Access data are logged in a database, recording who accessed the system, when, and what was done. �This creates a systemwide audit trail. You can then review the data and even filter it, but you cannot change or damage it,� he added. Gottscho�s solution provides automated tools for change tracking, recordkeeping, reporting, and access security. 

Geraldi said that it is even possible to secure printer networks. �You can network multiple printers to a PC and wrap a security shell around that PC,� he said.

Gottscho will provide on-site training and installation, configuration, and start-up supervision. �By making these services an integral part of our program, we address both the technological and procedural aspects of 21 CFR Part 11 regulations, which are equally important for compliance,� he said.


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