person using proximity card for enhanced print security

Unsecured office printers put your business at risk

Shared multifunction printers are a great thing for business. They can significantly reduce printing costs over using individual desktop printers. Plus, they provide features that make modern workplaces more efficient… such as mobile printing and access to printers on the go.

However, if your shared office printers are left unsecured, it’s very easy (and very common) for sensitive information to get into the wrong hands.

Here’s how information security breaches happen. You print a sensitive document, such as a financial statement, a customer’s personal information, or a confidential employee record. You’re not worried about anyone seeing it, because the printer is just steps away from your desk. But before you can get up to retrieve your document, you get a phone call from your boss.

When you get to the printer 10 minutes later, your document isn’t there. Well… you can always assume it didn’t print for some reason, and print it again. Maybe that helps you sleep at night. However, it’s much more likely that your sensitive document DID print, and it was accidentally (or purposefully) picked up by someone else. Now you have a problem.

The consequences can be severe. If you’re subject to HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, or GDPR regulations, you can face significant fines for breaches of confidential information.

With unsecured printers, hackers have easy access. They can use the printer to attack your network and access even more sensitive information.

Learn how: Printer Security: the Weak Link That Can Take Down Your Network

User authentication eliminates print security & privacy breaches

The unfortunate fact is, even the smartest business IT departments are overlooking printer security. The problem is so widespread that the Federal Trade Commission has stepped in to create print security guidelines to help businesses keep their information safe.

However, there is a very simple solution to the print security problem. User authentication controls access to your shared printers and helps prevent unauthorized users (such as hackers) from getting your confidential data. It also prevents the “accidental” sharing of sensitive information described above.

How does user authentication work?

Users must login using a proximity card, key fob, or a pin code before they can retrieve a print job or scan a document. It’s fast and easy for your employees, and not at all difficult to set up for your IT staff. You can even customize access and permissions by user role.

Investing in a print management solution is a low cost way to get user authentication and other print security features. Plus, you get more capabilities that reduce the cost of printing and make your workforce more productive:

  • Eliminate waste with no more piles of documents abandoned on the printer
  • Cut down unnecessary, expensive color printing with print rules
  • Print securely from mobile devices
  • Workers on the go can print to convenient, nearby printers

Let’s take a look at the top two print management solutions for business. If you have Canon printers, Canon’s uniFLOW may be your best option (and you might already have it installed on your printers). If you have a mixed-brand fleet of printers and copiers, Papercut is the one print management solution that can work with every printer brand.

Canon’s uniFLOW offers a highly flexible print and scan management solution that can be customized to the specific needs of your organization. You can set up uniFLOW on traditional print servers, manage everything in the cloud with uniFLOW Online, or create a hybrid environment that uses both. Canon’s uniFLOW and uniFLOW online are subscription services; you pay a small monthly fee according to the number of users. There is also a FREE version called uniFLOW Online Express that has certain feature limitations but comes installed on Canon imageRunner Advance printers.

Here are the highlights of what you get with uniFLOW:

Print security. Control access to printing and scanning with user authentication. Secure document content with data encryption. Plus, you can monitor what users and user groups are doing with print and scan equipment. So if there is ever a question about who faxed or emailed a sensitive document, you can find out exactly who accessed and sent the document.

Cost savings. Companies waste vast amounts of money on paper and unnecessary printing. With uniFLOW, you can set print rules and reminders that reduce that waste and save surprising amounts of money. [Read a case study to learn how much you could save.]

Enhanced productivity. Your workforce gets more done when you make it easy and seamless to print and scan. uniFLOW lets them print from mobile devices, and print and scan using conveniently located printers around your workplace, all using a single sign on for simplicity.

Learn more:

Cloud-Based Print Management from Canon: uniFLOW Online

Canon uniFLOW One

PaperCut offers similar print security, cost savings, and productivity features for organizations that have a variety of printer brands and models. It works across any brand, platform, and environment.

For IT staff, managing printers is often among their least-favorite parts of the job. Especially with so many different types of printers to support, it can be time consuming and never-ending task.

PaperCut makes it easy. It eliminates support calls because users can print without questions or problems. It auto-deploys print driver updates. It even integrates with loads of enterprise applications. And of course, it keeps printers locked down and document information secure, before, during, and after printing.

Business owners and financial managers love PaperCut because it helps change wasteful user behavior to save paper, ink, toner, time, and money.

Your workforce will love it, because printing and scanning are simple and intuitive, and work the way they work.

Start with a FREE print assessment

Not sure where to start with print security and print management? If you’re located in the New York City area, SOS can help with an assessment of your current print environment. Then we’ll recommend equipment and tools that can save you money, improve your print security with authentication and monitoring, and provide your users with a simpler and more efficient print and scan experience.

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