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Is Your Serverless Printing Secure?

Posted by Jordan Pusey on May 8th, 2017

For anyone who's struggled with print servers, serverless printing sounds like a dream. Just imagine the benefits: no unexplained spooler crashes, no single points of failure, no need to upgrade and maintain server hardware and software, no WAN print traffic. Instead clients are associated with printers via stable, straightforward and reliable direct IP connections. But serverless printing in its most basic form tends to come with two important drawbacks: manageability and security.

We've previously discussed how PrinterLogic's next-generation print management solution rapidly introduces effortless, powerful centralized management into serverless (aka direct IP) print environments of any size, but what about secure printing solutions in serverless printing implementations?

The main issue with secure printing in serverless printing scenarios is that Active Directory (AD) integration ranges from limited to none at all. This means that administrators have very little control over which printers can be accessed by which users. In print-server-based environments, printers can be deployed based on a variety of AD criteria, although this is usually done through group policy objects (GPOs) or scripts, both of which have their own quirks and headaches. In serverless printing environments, however, even these imperfect deployment options are unavailable without one or more secure printing solutions in place.

That's where PrinterLogic's enterprise print management solution comes into play. In one fell swoop, your serverless printing environment gets incredible centralized management and secure printing. This is because PrinterLogic integrates tightly with AD right out of the box, allowing you to set up fine-grained printer deployments across the enterprise from a single pane of glass—but without having to rely on the finicky hierarchies of GPOs and the complexity of scripts.

Nor is that the end of it. The reason PrinterLogic tops other secure printing solutions in serverless printing applications is because it enables you to go beyond AD-based deployments. Thanks to its native secure printing solutions, you can easily implement advanced secure printing functionality like Pull Printing throughout your entire organization.

Features like this turn printing into a deliberate but seamless and convenient two-step process—even in large or intricate serverless printing scenarios—whereby the end user first initiates the print job as usual to a destination printer of his or her choice, then "releases" that job once he or she is physically present at the printer. The release step in this secure printing example can be achieved in one of three ways:

  • A badge/card reader: PrinterLogic's secure printing solutions integrate with your existing badge system. In this case, the end user can swipe a card and execute the job on the associated printer.
  • The printer control panel: By installing the PrinterLogic app on supported printers, authorized end users can release their print jobs directly from the device's built-in control panel.
  • Any device with a browser: As a testament to just how flexible PrinterLogic's secure printing solutions are, end users are able to release their print jobs through our web-based app on any PC, Mac, Chromebook or mobile device.

What's more, secure printing can also curb the waste that results from unclaimed or abandoned print jobs.

If you've wondered whether or not your serverless printing setup is secure, the answer is that it probably isn't. Secure printing solutions other than PrinterLogic do exist for serverless print infrastructures, but they're unlikely to provide secure printing functionality with the same flexibility, seamlessness and ease of use. And they certainly won't bring PrinterLogic's acclaimed centralized printer and driver management into your serverless printing environment.

Jordan K. Pusey
Jordan K. Pusey
With more than 15 years of product marketing experience, Jordan has been been instrumental in helping IT software companies produce valuable software solutions and achieve growth. From IT desktop operations to infrastructure and security, Jordan has talked and written about sound IT best practices, amazing time and money saving products, and industry trends. At PrinterLogic, he leads the company's product marketing efforts and loves talking about how organizations of all sizes can eliminate the need for print servers.

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