Without Proper Print Management, Printers Can Be a Security Risk

Originally published on July 25, 2016

Have you ever heard of a little thing called PrintNightmare? Of course, you have—everyone has following the migraine of a breach that first reared its ugly face in June of 2020. The endless saga continues to shine a light on printer vulnerabilities, bringing us to the critical topic of proper print management.

Back in the day (no, not the 80’s, more like May of 2020), it was sufficient for organizations to have their networks locked down tight through firewalls, filtering, and strong authorization measures to guard against hackers. But there’s a ubiquitous weak spot that is frequently overlooked: securing your print infrastructure. Think of it this way—what good are cameras and locked doors on your home if the back door is wide open and no security precautions are in an intruder’s way?

This is where PrinterLogic soars in with a red cape to save the day. We realize these vulnerabilities aren’t solely digital, so we can offer a comprehensive print management solution to protect your organization from digital and in-person vulnerabilities.

The Most Common Printer Threat

Want us to let you in on a little secret? One of the biggest threats to printer security is physical documents—the ones that have been printed but marooned on the output tray, helpless and vulnerable to prying eyes. This happens more than you think.

For example, a common instance would be a manager sending a confidential employee file to a shared printer. But then he gets distracted and doesn’t retrieve it. How often have you thought, “I’ll quickly pop into the restroom, or grab a coffee” before moseying on over to retrieve your print job? We all do it and make the most of stepping away from our workstations! Unfortunately, trying to instill the fear of the printer gods in the average employee isn’t very effective—confidential documents remain visible to everyone, and all the encryption in the world can’t help you.

Combatting Unsupervised Documents

Secure printing solutions like PrinterLogic <insert dramatic hair flip> prevent this from happening by seamlessly integrating Secure Release Printing. This feature boosts printer security by essentially splitting printing into two deliberate steps: the initiation of the print job, followed by the execution (and retrieval) of the print job. 

PrinterLogic offers three different release options for this kind of security printing:

  1. Badge/Card Reader: In this scenario, the end user swipes a badge or I.D. card through a reader device, releasing the print job to a nearby printer (this can be done either through the printer’s embedded control panel or a networked reader device). Commercial printers often come equipped with secure printing solutions like an integrated card or badge reader, but even USB readers will work. This is ideal if your organization has an existing badge system.
  2. Embedded Control Panel: Here, the end user logs in and releases the desired print jobs using the printer’s integrated control panel coupled with the PrinterLogic Mobile App installed on the employee’s smart device. The app supports most printers and is available for download on The App Store and Google Play. As far as secure printing goes, this option is one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods because it requires no additional hardware.
  3. Browser: An incredibly flexible approach to print security, this deployment option allows any device that can run a browser—PC, Mac, Chromebook, or even a mobile device—to access PrinterLogic’s web-based control panel and release specific print jobs to any printer on the network. This is incredibly handy when printing to unfamiliar devices because it allows users to confirm the correct physical printer before printing. It also enables organizations to turn any network printer into a secure release printing-enabled machine because the release device can be placed in kiosk mode next to the associated printer.
  4. QR Code: QR codes are on the rise as a great way to release print jobs—and it’s a fully touchless process. Employees can use a QR code on their device of choice and simply scan it at the printer to release their print job.

Bonus: In addition to the convenience of these four secure deployment capabilities for end users, they also cut down on paper waste by ensuring documents are not abandoned or unnecessarily reprinted, and minimize the use of shared surfaces amidst the current pandemic.

Of course, PrinterLogic’s secure printing solutions don’t end with Secure Release Printing. Our Advanced Security Bundle offers multiple advanced features to keep your printed documents secure. Plus, our centralized print management gives you fine-grained control over every printer in your organization while maintaining a high level of printer security. By setting strict parameters dictating which users are able to print and where they are authorized to print, i.e. a combination of back-end oversight and front-end security, you’re implementing guards against sensitive documents being compromised and your print environment doesn’t risk becoming a liability.