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

As print security becomes a higher priority, enterprise organizations are generally using two methods to combat data loss in their print environments. One is pull printing. The other is secure release printing.

At first, pull printing and secure release printing 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. But 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 these 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 it’s 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 that particular location. That saves them time, and it saves IT hassle.

You can also use pull printing to curb waste. Because the release step is intentional, print jobs that users no longer want (or forget about) don’t end up being printed in the first place. Over time and at enterprise scale, all that unused paper and toner can add up to big cost savings.

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 Print Release App.

Importantly, PrinterLogic doesn’t eliminate print servers and then force 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.