Many moving parts define secure printing. But the key component of secure printing requires end users to take an extra step or two before they print, making it an ongoing challenge to implement.
This brings up two questions:
What challenges do IT teams face when implementing secure printing?
Does secure printing inconvenience end users?
Let’s answer both.
The biggest challenges of enterprise secure printing
The purpose of secure printing is to keep all printed documents out of the print tray and prevent information theft. It’s a priority for many data-sensitive sectors, however, new workforce trends and legacy devices pose challenges that make it hard to implement.
Challenge #1: End users have to memorize yet another password.
By now, most users know that complex alphanumeric passwords prevent unauthorized access to their devices. Yet many of them choose obvious words or phrases for their password (like “password!”) because they’re easy to remember and enter—making them almost as vulnerable as having no password at all.
It’s difficult asking users not only to remember an extra password but to log into their computer and authenticate via your company identity provider.
Asking them to memorize another password to release a print job—is borderline torture.
Challenge #2: Simplifying secure printing for your mobile users
It wouldn’t be farfetched to assume that most of your users are probably roaming somewhere in your organization. They need to be able to print on the move.
In many cases, they have to call the helpdesk to get a printer installed. This turns secure printing into a four-step process when it should only take two. Here’s what secure printing looks like from the viewpoint of a user:
Call the helpdesk→Wait for the printer to be installed→Send print job to printer→Release print job
Although this does enable them to print securely, it doesn’t streamline the printing process. Secure printing for mobile users should be as easy as “Click print and release.”
Challenge #3: Extending secure printing to off-network users
Unsecured home office printers are considered printing enemy number one for most admins.
Users can print sensitive documents to a printer on an unsecured network. That data sits on the printer, waiting for hackers to steal it. Plus, print jobs go untracked, leaving admins in the dark about who, when, and where of documents. Organizations usually counter home office printing with expensive VPNs or urge users to connect the printer to the workstation via a USB—both of which require hours of babysitting by admins.
Remote employees and contingent workers who operate off-network need a way to print securely to networked printers in your organization from their home office or other off-site locations. This eliminates risky home office printing and allows users to pick up their jobs when they visit the office.
Challenge #4: Finding 100% printer-compatible solutions
If you have a homogenous printer fleet, good on you.
But this isn’t the case for most organizations that employ a mix of MFDs and legacy printers from different manufacturers.
It’s difficult to find a solution that allows you to utilize any of your printers for secure release and saves you the time and money of buying a whole new fleet. Another worry is deciding which authentication method fits your environment and end users. You may discover that users prefer using badge release to authenticate instead of entering a PIN on the control panel or enjoy scanning a QR code to release their print jobs.
Either way, these are decisions you and your organization have to make. The ideal solution would be a printer-agnostic platform that allows for all authentication methods, but those are few and far between.
Does secure printing cause problems for end users?
No. At least, it shouldn’t.
We discussed a few pain points for secure printing like memorizing more passwords and calling the helpdesk to install printers. However, these can easily be averted by choosing a solution with the right tools.
Even if end users do feel inconvenienced by a small change, the returns are rewarding and worth conveying:
- Users’ environmental impact will decrease with more intentional printing.
- Users can cancel print jobs before they are printed at any time.
- Employee and customer data are protected with every print job.
- Users can release print jobs in bulk instead of making multiple trips to the printer.
You’d be surprised. Users may be happy to learn that their newly developed printing habits are making a difference at the workplace—and not at the cost of productivity.
Make enterprise secure printing an easy addition.
PrinterLogic’s serverless print management solution allows you to centrally manage your print environment from a single user interface.
Our version of secure printing, Secure Release Printing, requires users to authenticate via one of these convenient methods:
Mobile QR Code: Users can scan a QR code on the printer with their mobile device to release held print jobs.
Web browser: Users can utilize any device capable of running a browser—PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, and even mobile devices—to access PrinterLogic’s web-based app and release their print jobs.
A badge/card reader: If your workplace uses a badge system, you can situate a badge reader next to the printer or use your printer’s preinstalled readers. Employees can then release their print jobs on any printer associated with their badge.
Control Panel: Provided the printer is compatible, the dedicated PrinterLogic app can be installed directly on the printer itself. Users can then log in using the printer’s LCD screen and release their print jobs. No additional hardware is required.
For mobile employees traveling between offices, our Self-Service Installation Portal empowers users to install their printers without calling the helpdesk, giving them instant access to printers and increasing productivity.
Secure Release Printing also extends to your remote users, allowing them to print off-network to any networked printer and release them when they get to the office.
All-in-all, PrinterLogic makes enterprise secure printing so easy that end users will have no reservations about using it.
Or check out our Secure Release Printing white paper to learn more.