**Originally published on December 3, 2014**
Not to be confused with pull printing, secure printing has become a household name in the print management industry. Internal document theft is up. The financial damage caused by data breaches is getting harder to swallow. And companies are taking note.
So what are secure printing solutions, and why do you need them?
What is secure printing?
Secure printing is the process of releasing a print job at a designated printer using one of several authentication methods. Documents are held in a queue until the user is physically present at the printer. Authentication methods vary—from entering an employee PIN to scanning an ID badge or using a mobile application—and can be released only when the user is physically present at the printer.
This is slightly different than its pull printing counterpart. Pull printing allows jobs to be released at any pull printing-enabled network printer. Regardless, secure printing and pull printing offer an additional layer of security that protect confidential documents. But secure printing solutions provide benefits that extend to the remote workforce and help future-proof your print environment.
How can secure printing solutions benefit you?
They help you reduce legacy infrastructure.
Secure printing solutions aren’t exactly “secure” if you can’t reduce legacy infrastructure. In this case, I’m not talking about your grandfather’s printers.
I’m talking about your print servers.
After the whole PrintNightmare fiasco, it became clear that print servers needed to be wiped from the picture. Secure printing solutions take print servers out of the equation and don’t hold print jobs in a spooler queue. Instead, print jobs are held on the workstation or the printer and remain on the local network until a user is ready to release it.
They allow remote workers to print securely.
Remote workers need a way to print securely without having to resort to printing on an unmanaged, off-network home printer. Secure printing solutions can give contractors, remote workers, and roaming employees the ability to print to an in-network printer while being on an outside network.
This type of functionality enables end users moving between their home and the office to print freely and release their documents at the office at their convenience, encouraging employees to stop using home office printers which are a huge security liability and impossible for admins to track.
Furthermore, secure Off-Network Printing capabilities offer employees a flexible way to deliver confidential documents to someone in the office instead of sending personal or customer information to them via email.
They adhere to Zero Trust standards.
Secure printing is a crucial aspect of complying with Zero Trust standards. The additional layer of security means confidential information stays in the hands of those who printed it. That level of authentication is a step in the right direction. But to be considered a Zero Trust-caliber secure printing solution, it has to integrate with the identity providers (IdPs) you use in your environment.
IdPs provide your company with a double layer of security your end users must go through before they can print. They also restrict users to the necessary applications they need to do their job. Adding secure printing functionality on top of that dramatically reduces the risk of identity and document theft, helping you achieve Zero Trust Printing.
They give users mobile printing capabilities.
Secure printing capabilities can extend to your end users’ mobile devices. If you’re managing a BYOD environment, leveraging phones, tablets, and laptops to print securely is a great way to cut down on costs and boost productivity simultaneously. Users can send a print job to a designated printer on the company network and release it later—without having to hop on specific company computers just to print a few documents.
There is a caveat to this one.
Not all secure printing solutions offer 100% compatibility with all printer models and operating systems (this one does). So make sure to choose a solution that checks all the boxes for the devices and printers in your environment.
They future-proof your business.
Theft isn’t going away. But it’s possible to mitigate it.
Secure printing solutions set you up for future success and reduce the chances of information being exploited for personal gain or a competitive advantage. They’re able to meet the demands of a hybrid workforce and offer a consistent end-user experience that doesn’t hamper productivity. They enable printing from an array of mobile devices and are built around maintaining compliance throughout all industries.
And most of all, they take pressure off IT.
Secure Printing Solutions on a Single Platform
One problem with most of the secure printing products on the market is that they require a print server, which means that if your print server goes down, everything ceases to work.
PrinterLogic eliminates your print servers and removes the single point of failure while providing a centrally managed direct IP printing platform. On top of that, PrinterLogic is 100% device and OS-agnostic and integrates with all major IdPs.
PrinterLogic’s version of secure printing, Secure Release Printing, holds print jobs on the user’s workstation and empowers users to release print jobs using one of the following methods:
- Smartphone App/QR Code
- Control Panel
- Web Browser
- Badge reader
See firsthand how PrinterLogic leverages secure printing features in the cloud and gives you the protection you need in today’s print environments.