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Secure Print Release: Print Management Solutions

Posted by Chris Summerhays on June 7th, 2018

Take a quick straw poll of enterprise-level organizations regarding their IT priorities, and one word will rise to the top: security. Enterprise executives and IT professionals are becoming acutely aware of how vulnerable their users' data can be, and are taking steps to lock it down.

That sense of urgency goes beyond the cloud. It also extends to printed documents, which is why there’s growing demand for print-management solutions with secure print release to help safeguard sensitive information.

Secure printing got its footing in healthcare, finance and legal services, where government regulations and client privacy carried stiff penalties. Medical providers employed secure printing to protect their patients' private information and maintain industry compliance. But as security becomes a big issue across the board, secure printing—at least in select departments—is a topic for most any organization.

What is secure print release?
Secure print release is pretty straightforward. Essentially, it takes an ordinary one-click print job and divides it into two steps. First, the user initiates the print job as usual. Then the job is held until the user completes a second step by authenticating at a printer to indicate they are the intended party to receive the output. This keeps sensitive or classified documents from being left for anyone’s eyes in the printer’s tray.

Some may think this kind of liability is a non-issue, but it isn't. At least one print-management study reported that one-fifth of print jobs are left unclaimed by the initiating user. Another study, based in the UK, found that almost half (45%) of respondents reported seeing confidential documents abandoned on a shared printer. If these documents contain patient records, bank account data, or trade secrets, it's easy for that data to fall into the wrong hands—possibly resulting in compromising situations, regulatory fines, costly litigation, or theft of intellectual property.

Secure print release using pull printing from PrinterLogic
As secure printing emerges as an important hedge against these threats, print-management software providers are getting on the bandwagon. But not all functionality is created equal. Some implementations are difficult to configure and cumbersome for users to implement. Others offer the appearance of secure printing because the print jobs are authenticated at the device, but in-between they are held on a shared server where lots of sensitive data becomes a digital attack surface.

PrinterLogic's pull-printing functionality overcomes these shortcomings and provides secure printing that's easy to configure and more secure than competing solutions. That’s because PrinterLogic leverages a serverless printing architecture and keeps print jobs on the workstation—and not a server where hundreds of jobs accumulate—until the user authorizes their release.

What's more, PrinterLogic's direct-IP paradigm bypasses the WAN—a significant point of risk for traditional print-management solutions—and routes all jobs, including sensitive ones, straight to the destination printer. The only exception is printing in a VDI environment, where some WAN traffic is unavoidable. Even so, with PrinterLogic, WAN traffic is greatly reduced.

The all-important authentication step is easy too. Because PrinterLogic integrates seamlessly with any environment, organizations have the option of using a printer's embedded control panel, a badge/card reader, or even a mobile device to release print jobs securely.

Also known as follow-me printing, users can release their job to any printer configured for pull printing, giving them more control, even after the print job is initiated. If a meeting room changes at the last minute, the user can go to a more convenient location to get their output.

A distinct side-benefit to all this is that PrinterLogic's pull printing cuts down on waste and saves money by preventing abandoned print jobs.

EPIC Management, L.P. is just one PrinterLogic customer that has been thrilled to discover the advantages of secure print release. This California-based healthcare management and consulting organization implemented pull printing to better serve its distributed customer base and comply with stringent regulatory requirements regarding electronic medical records (EMR) and protected healthcare information (PHI). PrinterLogic's pull printing has allowed the company to "revolutionize the patient care procedures" for the doctors and nurses it serves.

Regardless of your industry sector, your own organization can experience the peace of mind of pull printing along with the proven cost- and time-saving benefits of our enterprise print-management solution. Take our free, full-featured demo for a 30-day test drive and see how PrinterLogic's unique serverless printing and advanced pull-printing functionality can work for you.

Chris Summerhays
Chris Summerhays
Before becoming PrinterLogic's Technical Product Manager, Chris spent more than four years as a Technical Product Engineer, Systems Engineer, and Sales Engineer—working side by side with IT professionals to eliminate print servers from their environment. He has a B.S. degree in Information Technology and loves learning about all of the new and innovating solutions that continue to revolutionize the IT industry.

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