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How Pull Printing and Secure Release Printing Are Different—and Why You Should You Use Them

Printer cybersecurity hacks are on the rise in 2024, with 61% of organizations experiencing print-related data loss within the past year. Forgotten documents in the printer tray, data-in-motion attacks, and printer hacks all pose a very real risk for businesses, with the average data breach costing $4.45 million in 2023.

Despite these risks, most CIOs place print security low on their agenda. Just 27% of SMBs say they’re confident in the security of their print infrastructure, and many businesses struggle to maintain the security of print management software, secure printing in remote work environments, and protect confidential information from being printed.

As print security concerns grow, enterprise organizations are beginning to pay attention. Print management trends show that 79% of organizations plan to increase their print security spending over the next year. Likewise, print security maturity is slowly improving, with the number of print security leaders increasing from 18% to 27% between 2022 and 2023.

To combat data loss in their print environments, businesses are typically turning to pull printing and secure release printing.

At first, these two printer security methods seem pretty similar. That’s because they share a common two-step format. It looks like this:

  1. The user initiates a print job as usual. However, the printing process is on hold until the next step.
  2. The user intentionally releases the waiting print job to a specific printer.

The key difference between the two methods lies in that release step. In contrast to pull printing, secure release printing requires some form of user authentication. That commonly involves swiping their badge or entering a PIN code on the printer’s control panel.


What makes PrinterLogic’s secure printing unique?

With PrinterLogic’s serverless print infrastructure, both pull printing and secure release printing follow this general description. But PrinterLogic’s ability to eliminate print servers adds an extra layer of security and convenience.

Instead of holding the pending print job on a server, creating a prime target for a malicious actor, PrinterLogic holds the print job on the user’s workstation. Once released, the print job travels straight to the destination printer. That allows for more secure printing by design.

And the flexibility of PrinterLogic’s serverless printing enables any network printer to become a pull or secure release printer, so you can make legacy machines a part of your secure printing infrastructure.


When should you use pull printing?

From a security standpoint, pull printing is a step up from conventional printing. That alone is reason enough to implement it.

Pull printing is especially handy for remote workers and mobile employees who travel to different offices. Thanks to PrinterLogic’s versatile pull-printing functionality, they can print their documents wherever it’s most convenient. They don’t have to install any printers or drivers at a particular location. That saves them time, and it saves IT hassle.

You can also use pull printing to curb waste and build sustainable printing practices in the workplace. Though many organizations recycle, paper still makes up 26% of total waste in landfills. Paper production is also an enormous strain on the environment, leading to deforestation and massive use of energy and water resources. Since the average worker uses 660 pounds of paper every year, pull printing can do a lot to save trees, energy, and office spending. In fact, one organization that implemented pull printing was able to reduce their print consumables usage by more than 50%.

With pull printing, the release step is intentional, meaning print jobs that users no longer want (or forget about) don’t end up being printed in the first place. Since the average U.S. company spends $120 million on printed paper every year, all that unused paper and toner can add up to big cost savings over time.


When should you use secure release printing?

PrinterLogic’s Secure Release Printing is ideal for employees who deal with highly confidential information, typically at a designated secure printer. This form of secure printing is for organizations that really want to protect sensitive documents—think healthcare, legal, financial or government—while also enjoying the same benefits that pull printing brings.

There are multiple ways that end users can authenticate securely with a PrinterLogic printer:

  • Badge/card: Employees can easily swipe their ID card or badge through a printer’s integrated reader or a dedicated external device.
  • Embedded control panel: Release takes place once users enter a PIN or login credentials right on the printer’s control panel. PrinterLogic SaaS now has native control panel applications for every major printer brand.
  • Browser-based: PrinterLogic features a web-based release portal that enables users to authenticate from almost any device.
  • Mobile App: Android and iOS users can view, release, and delete secure print jobs right from their smartphones via the PrinterLogic Mobile App.

Importantly, PrinterLogic doesn’t eliminate print servers and then forces you to install a bunch of new hardware. You can use your current badge/card readers and your existing print infrastructure with these authentication mechanisms.

For proof, look no further than EPIC Management, L.P., a managed services provider for healthcare organizations. They needed to comply with the industry’s strict regulations on protected healthcare information (PHI) but didn’t want to add unnecessary cost and complexity. PrinterLogic’s secure printing fit the bill. Read the case study here.