August 29, 2017

Print Security: Protect Your Company’s Devices, Documents and Data

Posted by Devin Anderson

With the massive proliferation of information in today’s workplaces, protecting the sensitive data among that information becomes all the more important. We can put passwords on digital documents, encrypt folders, install VPNs to limit external access to our organization’s internal networks. But print security remains a challenge for two important reasons:

1. Printing is physical. Digital documents can be locked away. We can restrict who’s able to access them and monitor when they do. Secure printing is another story. All too often, printed documents are left exposed for anyone to see—not just on someone’s desk, but right there in the printer’s output tray! The user prints them, gets waylaid or distracted, and meanwhile the printed pages are visible to passersby and other users who are retrieving their documents.

Maybe that’s not the end of the world when it’s a simple meeting agenda or a routine letter. But what if that document contains information on a quiet hiring decision? Or a top-secret project? Or an executive-level issue? Whether intentionally or accidentally, unauthorized guests or employees could come across that information and either complicate or seriously compromise matters. Secure printing solutions help to guard against those kinds of breaches and ensure that sensitive documents are only seen by the eyes they were intended for.

2. Security in printing is only as strong as our end users. Even today, after all we’ve been told about the importance of security, the top login passwords still tend to be “password,” “qwerty,” “123456” or the user’s first name. Some would say this comes down to laziness, but it’s more a matter of convenience. When you’re getting back to your desk and ready to start work, do you really want to type a long string of random numbers, letters and symbols, or do you want something that takes a short amount of time to enter?

The same principle applies to secure printing. If you try to increase security in printing by making it a complex, six-phase procedure, you’re more likely to discourage your end users from actually using it. This is why secure printing solutions have to be convenient enough for end users to prefer them over ordinary insecure methods.

Secure Printing from PrinterLogic takes both of these issues into account. It can’t make sensitive documents invisible to all but their intended recipients, but it can keep documents in the hands of those who printed them.

It does this by splitting printing into two straightforward steps: the initiation of the print job and the release of that job at the printer. When a user with, say, a classified document clicks “Print,” the job is sent to the local print queue as usual, where it’s then held. Not until the user is physically present at the printer can the job actually be authorized for printing. The user can release the job using any one of three methods:

  • A badge or card reader: If your organization already has a badge system, PrinterLogic’s Secure Printing can integrate with that system to release print jobs by authorized users via their associated badge. The reader might be built into the network printer itself or connected externally to the printer and the network.
  • The printer control panel: PrinterLogic offers an embedded app for the LCD control panels on supported printers. This app allows users to log in, identify their print job, and release it for printing.
  • Any browser: Using PrinterLogic’s web-based app, authorized users can release print jobs from any device that is capable of running a browser—even a mobile device.

By implementing Secure Printing from PrinterLogic, you can achieve the level of security in printing that you need to protect your organization’s devices, documents and data without the added hassle and complexity of secure printing solutions that discourage users from actually putting them into practice.

Interested in eliminating all of your print servers?

We deliver a highly available Serverless Printing Infrastructure using a centrally managed Direct IP printing platform. If you want to empower end users with mobile printing, secure release printing, and many advanced features, we’d love to show you how.

Serverless printing is just one quick demo away.

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