Secure printing should be an essential practice and integral part of document workflows throughout an enterprise—especially in the kinds of departments that deal with sensitive data, such as HR or R&D. While many organizations understand this, the number of organizations with secure-printing protocols in place remains relatively small.
Why is that? Well, even though there’s little doubt regarding the importance of printing security, implementation has typically been more challenging.
One of the biggest obstacles is that secure-printing solutions typically involve a tradeoff between security and ease of use. If, for instance, ease of use takes a backseat to security, it will negatively affect the admin who’s tasked with setting up secure printing just as much as the end user who makes use of enterprise document printing on a daily basis.
For similar reasons, secure-printing solutions don't always integrate well with existing print environments. Heterogeneous printer fleets might be incompatible with the solution’s approach to printing security, or a complex infrastructure with mixed operating systems might be unable to fully support certain software requirements. This has led to a situation in which many organizations are still unaware of what secure-printing options are available to them, leading to skepticism or hesitation toward adopting adequate solutions in the enterprise community.
Here are three handy tips to help enterprises identify secure-printing solutions that are right for them.
1. Remember that security and ease of use are complementary, not mutually exclusive.
Imagine a door with a hundred locks. Sounds pretty secure, right? But if you have to pass through that door multiple times per day, how often do you think you’ll open and close each one of those locks? Or is it more likely that the door will simply get left open for the sake of convenience?
Secure-printing mechanisms that require the end user to complete multiple authorization and approval steps are subject to the same problem. At the time of printing, users make an instant cost-benefit assessment about time and effort involved, and any extra steps can act as a deterrent to choosing the secure option. That’s how human nature can foil your best attempt at hardening printing security.
Instead, make printing security an attractive option for your end users. PrinterLogic’s secure-printing solution uses an intuitive two-step release procedure that can easily become part of any printing workflow. Our release printing mechanism gives users greater control over where and how their documents are printed, so they're more likely to make secure enterprise document printing their preferred method.
2. Choose a secure-printing solution that integrates fully and seamlessly.
When a secure-printing solution is bolted onto your existing print environment, it creates gaps that can be exploited by malicious intent. This lack of seamlessness can also drive up the time and labor investment for your IT staff, forcing them to limit the number of printers or users with secure-printing functionality. Both of those qualities can compromise the integrity of your printing security approach.
PrinterLogic's pull-printing module integrates seamlessly with your print environment and can give secure enterprise document printing capabilities to most printers—including legacy devices. This eliminates the typical hardware and software limitations and makes secure-printing functionality a natural extension of your current and future printing infrastructure.
3. Pick the secure-printing option that’s right for you.
Best-in-class secure-printing solutions won't restrict you to a single release protocol. With PrinterLogic, you can choose from three authentication methods to release print jobs.
- Badge/card reader release: A connected or integrated badge reader works smoothly alongside your organization's existing RFID or CAC/PIV card setup, allowing users to authenticate and release the print jobs at the associated printer.
- Printer control panel release: PrinterLogic's embedded app can be installed directly on supported printers. Users can then login and release their print jobs right from the printer's control panel using their Active Directory ID or a user-created PIN.
- Browser-based release: Any device with a web browser, including a tablet, can access PrinterLogic’s web-based release portal, enabling users to release their print jobs conveniently and securely.
Enterprise printing security with PrinterLogic
By keeping those three tips in mind, you can add the necessary printing security to your enterprise document printing workflow yet avoid the usual drawbacks and compromises of lesser solutions.
PrinterLogic is a single solution that allows you to harden your print environment while retaining flexibility, usability and control. In addition to the benefits described above, our centralized console and powerful secure-printing features provide administrators complete oversight of badges in use, the locations of print jobs generated and who sends them, as well as the type authentication method used.
Best of all, you don’t have to guess if PrinterLogic is the ideal secure-printing solution for your environment. We offer a free 30-day trial period that allows you to test all the features of our acclaimed print-management solution, including printing security. Sign up for the demo today and see how you can lock down enterprise document printing without inconveniencing your end users.
Brian has nearly 20 years of product management experience in leading IT companies such as Intel, Symantec, CA Technologies, Dell, and SanDisk. He joined PrinterLogic in 2018 as VP Product, where he leads a team that researches customer needs and defines product strategy. Brian enjoys working in his community to help mentor young men through volunteer service, athletic programs, and scouting. He has a B.S. degree in Business and Information Management from Brigham Young University, where he later received an MBA. He and his wife live in Saint George, Utah and have five children.