Up One Level

Fax / Facsimile Machines


Whilst the use of faxes is being eclipsed by that of e-mail, they are still preferred where a legal record of transmission and delivery is required.

Fax machines operate by incorporating 3 technologies into a single unit : a scanner to convert a page into a graphical image; a printer to print the resultant image and a modem to transmit the data across the public telephone network. Despite the fact that fax images can be tampered with as easily as any other form of electronic data format, they have nevertheless become accepted as bona fide documents for legal purposes.

Great care should be exercised when accepting a fax as genuine because its Integrity may be questionable, as there is no data validation or authentication between sending and receiving parties. Any fax machine can use the Calling Station IDentifier (CSID) as it so wishes and, whilst some software can check the name of the CSID before transmission, this is of limited value where robust security is required.

Faxes should not be used for Confidential information where the Integrity of the information is paramount. In an effort to reduce the risk, callers and senders will often (physically) watch over the fax machine in order to capture the expected fax. However, it is 'wide open' from a security perspective and, because fax machine numbers are so publicly available, a 'tap' on the line could indeed intercept faxes.

*** The Information Security Glossary ***
Previous PageTop of this pageNext Page

Buy Now:


This Glossary forms part of the RUsecure Security Policy Suite... visit RUsecure Security Policy World
Use of the guidance contained within RUsecure™ is subject to the End User Licence Agreement
This site created with EasyHTMLHelp(tm) for MS Word
 Risk Associates: Resources for Security Risk Analysis, ISO 17799 / BS7799, Security Policies and Security Audit