Using PIN Authentication for Printing Security with PrinterLogic

Secure printing isn’t very effective if it’s not easy for users. If authentication schemes are too difficult, users may avoid them for the sake of convenience. That’s why PrinterLogic has added PIN Authentication as a release mechanism for HP, Konica-Minolta and Xerox printers.

What is PIN Authentication?
PIN Authentication, now part of PrinterLogic’s secure printing feature set, is used in conjunction with pull printing, which divides the process into two deliberate steps: initiation and release. In the first step, the end user initiates the print job as usual, but the job is then held instead of being automatically executed. In the second step, the end user authenticates at the destination printer using one of several methods. This authorizes the printer to print the job, while ensuring that the end user is physically present and able to retrieve it.

The concept of PIN Authentication printing is similar to interacting with an ATM. Once configured by the IT administrator, a user who initiates a secure job can walk up to the control panel on a supported printer and enter his or her User ID and a 4-10 digit numeric PIN. The print job is then released from PrinterLogic’s secure print queue and printed out—on demand. In this scenario, both the User ID and the PIN are numeric.

This is how PIN Authentication adds yet another option to PrinterLogic’s available secure printing authentication mechanisms. Now, in addition to the ability to release print jobs using an ID badge/card reader, a mobile device or by logging in on the printer’s embedded control panel, users can enter an easy-to-remember PIN that’s associated with their Active Directory (AD) account.

How does PIN authentication printing work?
For organizations that want to implement user-friendly secure printing without the hassle of complex configuration protocols, PIN authentication printing is very easy to set up.

In PrinterLogic’s intuitive centralized management console, admins can go to Tools > Settings > General and navigate to the Control Panel Application (CPA) Authentication setting. Under User ID and PIN, they can then enable PIN authentication printing for individual users along with the ability to authenticate using their AD credentials (i.e., username and password). Admins can then choose where the PIN will be securely stored. The PIN will be checked against the AD attributes they specify for validation. For greater ease of use, PIN authentication works across multiple configured LDAP domains.

PrinterLogic’s secure printing features can be used with almost any printer—even legacy devices. However, because PIN authentication requires PrinterLogic’s embedded control panel application to function, only printers manufactured by HP, Konica-Minolta and Xerox printers are supported for now.

Why choose PrinterLogic for secure print management?
PIN authentication printing is just one reason why security-conscious organizations choose PrinterLogic as their secure print-management solution.

Unlike other secure printing solutions, PrinterLogic’s direct-IP printing paradigm keeps print jobs safely on the client machine—not in a shared print queue—until the user authenticates and releases the job. This is just one example of how PrinterLogic is secure by design and doesn’t just offer secure printing as retrofitted functionality. And PrinterLogic’s day-to-day ease of use for IT staff and end users alike ensures that they’ll actually make use of secure printing features rather than trying to bypass them to save time and headache.

To experience the many advantages of PrinterLogic’s PIN authentication printing and next-generation secure print management in your own organization, sign up to demo PrinterLogic for 30 days. It’s free and there are no limitations on features.

How to Make Printing with MEDITECH Easier

Posted by Devin Anderson

Thousands of healthcare organizations around the world use Electronic Health Records (EHR) solutions like MEDITECH to manage their patients’ information. These systems are designed to ensure strict regulatory compliance with sensitive medical data. They aren’t particularly good at print management, however, which means healthcare organizations often struggle with even routine printing tasks. In this blog, we’ll provide a basic guide to printing in MEDITECH, and how it can be teamed up with PrinterLogic to offer next-generation print management.

MEDITECH printing: An overview
MEDITECH is an EHR solution that lets medical providers access and manage patient data quickly and securely. But even in our digital age, physicians, nurses and other staff often need to create and interact with hard copies as part of their routine workflow.

In fast-paced, fluid environments like hospitals and clinics, staff can be in regular rotation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With tight schedules, and in urgent situations, they need to print to a nearby device quickly and reliably. The problem is that EHR solutions don’t have the most user-friendly print-management features. MEDITECH, one of the largest EHR providers, has a relatively small list of supported printers. Printer deployments and installations are not particularly admin-friendly and often lead to tedious troubleshooting sessions.

MEDITECH printing and Citrix—augmented by PrinterLogic’s print management
MEDITECH solutions often run in a Citrix virtual environment. Citrix allows for centralized client management and easier workspace deployments, along with a low-cost computing infrastructure. The catch is that print management in Citrix can be problematic, and this compounds MEDITECH printing issues by overlaying the complexity of a virtual environment on top of the requirements of the EMR solution.

PrinterLogic’s enterprise print-management solution works as an admin-friendly intermediary between Citrix and MEDITECH printing. It integrates seamlessly with both environments to enhance their native print-management functionality and compensate for some of the most serious shortcomings of print servers. For example, PrinterLogic’s centrally managed architecture lets IT managers maintain one driver repository across the entire organization. This helps avoid driver incompatibilities that are often the root cause of MEDITECH printing problems and failed printer deployments in Citrix.

PrinterLogic eliminates the need for group policy objects (GPOs) and scripts. Admins deploy printers automatically to users based on a variety of Active Directory (AD) criteria like user, container, organizational unit (OU), MAC, and IP addresses. Even in dynamic healthcare organizations with frequent staff and workstation changes, admins are able to deliver nearby printers to users accurately and reliably—no matter where the user happens to be.

Case in point: Princeton Community Hospital
Princeton Community Hospital has experienced firsthand how PrinterLogic revolutionizes MEDITECH printing. Our solution helped this large, multi-facility hospital system resolve ongoing driver conflicts, simplify installations, streamline printer deployments, and mitigate the anxiety caused by single points of failure.

To see how smoothly PrinterLogic integrates with MEDITECH and other leading EMR/EHR solutions like EPIC, download this free white paper. Try a free, full-featured demo of PrinterLogic for 30 days and see how it transforms your print management in even the most challenging environments.

Guest Blog: Banishing Print Traffic from Your WAN with PrinterLogic

Posted by Philip Sellers

Written by Philip Sellers. Originally published in, May 29, 2018

The requirement: secure and centralize print management. But moving traditional Windows print servers into your datacenter will cause a lot of WAN traffic from your branches. WAN links are expensive and bandwidth is a premium resource. Even with SD-WAN solutions that enable companies to use standard internet, instead of MPLS circuits, for branch connectivity, the bandwidth is usually limited. On top of bandwidth issues, print sessions cause bursts of traffic that can trigger other performance issues for users. All around, it’s not a great situation.

Enter PrinterLogic, a St. George, Utah based company that does printer management and enables direct-IP printing, avoiding the WAN entirely. The PrinterLogic solution is straightforward and easy to manage. It allows the centralized control and reporting of a single print server while avoiding the cost and problems associated with moving print data from the branch to the datacenter and back again.

Management Server
PrinterLogic employs a main management server—called the PrinterLogic Web Stack (formerly Printer Installer) server—that is primarily a discovery and management point for their solution. This web application allows administrators to set up lists of printers organized by site locations with nice features like maps and location discovery. PrinterLogic Web Stack also allows profiles to be created and the printer driver to be centrally administered and configured.

Getting started is a breeze, and there are two different ways to set up printers. First, you can point PrinterLogic to existing Windows print servers and import printers, drivers and default configurations directly into the product. The second is a network discovery method that allows you to scan and find any previously unmanaged printers in the environment.

Self-installation Portal

Figure 1: PrinterLogic automatically imports printers from existing print servers and maps them by location.

The main management server is also a reporting server, allowing administrators to gain insight into their print environment, including unmanaged printers that may be connected to managed workstations. While PrinterLogic doesn’t make any changes to these unmanaged printers—even USB connected printers—it does allow administrators to get analytical data about these devices to be able to bring them into a managed situation or replace them.

Client Agent
The other component is the print agent (aka client) on each workstation. This agent is the primary access method for users. With a click, it launches you into the web portal so you can add and discover new printers. Users can self-service and find the correct or closest printers. Assistance is provided by automatic correlating IP subnets to locations and defaulting users to those locations.

Once the print agent is deployed, any currently configured printers will automatically be converted for you. This is a huge aid for deployments and bringing all the systems and printers into management. The only real work required is deploying the agent to your workstations which can easily be accomplished with SSCM or scripts.

Licensing & Optional Modules
PrinterLogic licensing is very straightforward also—with the base licenses enabling everything discussed so far and licensed based on the number of printer objects. One of PrinterLogic’s big sales pitches is around reducing the number of queues required for different use cases by allowing a single printer object to have multiple profiles and even print drivers associated for different use cases—like Windows workstations versus a Citrix server. With that, the licensing would roughly equate to the number of printers in your environment.

In addition to base licensing, PrinterLogic offers two optional modules for pull printing and mobile printing. These capabilities are licensed in the same way, by the number of managed printer objects.

Pull Printing
Pull printing and release printing are ways to describe the same basic functionality—printing to a queue where the job is held until you walk up and release it from the printer. You can release by authenticating with user and password, with a proximity badge, or by authenticating with your mobile phone. When you print a job for a ‘virtual queue’ the job is held at your personal workstation until it is released. This is another way PrinterLogic avoids WAN traffic—by keeping the job onsite since it will likely be released in the same site without having to cross a WAN link.

Mobile Printing
Mobile printing is exactly what it sounds like, enabling printing from phones and tablets. Since these devices are not necessarily on your internal network—possibly sitting on a cellular or guest WiFi network, the printing method changes a bit; however, mobile printing looks a lot like pull printing. Instead of holding a job in a local queue at the workstation, in the case of mobile printing, the queue is at the main management server.

Cloud Option
PrinterLogic also offers a print management solution in SaaS form, where they host and manage all the infrastructure of your printing environment, and you simply have to configure your printers using a web console. Dubbed PrinterLogic SaaS (formerly PrinterCloud), the solution is targeted to SMB users. While it doesn’t offer every feature of the on-premises version, it is a great solution for smaller environments where IT wants to avoid the local infrastructure. PrinterLogic says PrinterLogic SaaS currently has 95%+ feature parity with the full version, and that one exception is fewer choices for pull-printing release mechanisms. The company is working on closing this gap.