secure print

Are you worried about the security of your network? You should be! Let’s talk about some little-known security issues with your network printers.

SPOILER ALERT: It’s not only the printers you need to worry about, but also how you’re providing access to potentially risky users.

We’ll also look at some secure print solutions and practices that can protect your data and your peace of mind.

Why secure print is a must-have

It seems like security breaches are becoming a fact of life. Every day there are more news stories about businesses failing to secure important data and getting hacked.

Today it’s more important than ever to lock down your network. And there’s one potential security hole that even the smartest IT people are overlooking: network printers.

It’s not only the printers themselves that are the issue, it’s the way you’re giving people access to them. That’s why you need to know about secure print and how to implement more secure print practices.

GOOD TO KNOW: If you have a modern multifunction printer (MFP), you might already have the tools you need to set up secure print. There’s no need for expensive secure print services for office printing.

4 ways you are risking security with network printing

Here are a few security risks you might be overlooking, and how you can plug those security holes with secure print tools and strategies.

1. Guest printing: giving outsiders access to your network.

Many businesses unwittingly allow unauthorized users to print to a device that’s attached to their network. For example:

  • Giving printer access to freelance workers, consultants or other non-employees. These workers probably bring their own laptops when they visit your facility for meetings or work sessions. Have you vetted these people enough to trust them with access to your network when they need to print?
  • Allowing guests to print. This happens every day at hotels; guests grabbing a flight after checkout often want to print boarding passes. Is the printer in your business center isolated from the rest of your network? Or are you allowing network access so guests can print?

Making these mistakes increases your chance of getting hacked or infected with a virus.

THE EASY SOLUTION: Instead of allowing access to the network, you can set up printer access using a secure email address. Users send their print job to your print email and never need to access your network. This is just one helpful security feature you get with Canon’s uniFLOW print management software. If you already have a modern Canon MFP, you already have the tools you need to take advantage of this smart secure print strategy.

2. Allowing unsecured printing from mobile devices.

In both our professional and personal lives, we are all doing more and more with our mobile devices. And that certainly includes printing.

The problem is, when employees print from their personal mobile devices (whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or laptop), those devices might not be secure.

THE EASY SOLUTION: Papercut is a brand-agnostic print management and secure print solution. Using Papercut, mobile users have several ways to print without compromising network security. They can print to an email (as described above) or they can upload their print job via a web form. They can also print via network access once you can set up a mobile printing solution combined with secure print on all network print devices.

Keep reading for more information about how that works. You can also read this to learn more about mobile printing: Office Mobile Print: Don’t Get a Copier Without It.

3. Not setting up secure print capabilities for all network printers.

When printing is anonymous, you’re opening up your network to unnecessary risk. You have no idea who is printing what. People could be printing documents publicly that have sensitive content. Medical records, legal records, financial information, and even HR information (think salaries!) are just a few examples that come to mind.

And you’re also wasting a lot of money with anonymous printing. How often do you find stacks of printed documents left abandoned on the copier? That’s a huge waste of toner (especially pricey color toner), paper, and even service costs.

THE EASY SOLUTION: Secure print capabilities are available from many copier and printer manufacturers. Canon provides secure print with its uniFLOW print management suite. Secure print controls the output of documents after a user sends a print job to a shared printing device. The printer saves every print job in memory until the authorized user comes to retrieve it.

Here’s how it works: every employee gets an access card or code. After sending a print job, simply enter your code or swipe your card at the printer, and the device outputs your document. Using secure print means no more sensitive documents left unsecured, and a big reduction in unnecessary printing. Find out more about how secure print saves you money: the Office Manager’s Guide to Secure Document Printing.

4. Unsecured scanning.

Many MFPs allow users to scan and email a document without any authentication. That means there’s ability to track who sent it. Unsecured scanning is just as much of a risk as unsecured printing. It’s even easier for people to share sensitive information without anyone knowing.

THE EASY SOLUTION: Once you’ve set up a secure print solution like Canon’s uniFLOW, unsecured scanning is eliminated. Users must log in at the device to scan, so there is always an audit trail.

Need help taking control of office printing?

Whether you choose a brand-specific solution like Canon’s uniFLOW, or a brand-agnostic solution like Papercut, managed printing is a no-brainer for businesses:

    • Wasted printing expense is costing you a fortune, and you can easily take control and save a bundle. Read this case study to find out how and how much: Managed Printing Saves Thousands on Office Print Costs
    • There’s a lot of risk associated with both data and document security. Managed print helps you take control of both.
    • It’s easy to get started: sign up for our FREE office print assessment.

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