Enterprise Secure Printing Systems: Why You Need Printer Security

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. 


Enterprise Secure Printing Systems

Enterprise secure printing systems provide robust security and control over your organization’s printing environment. With features like secure release printing, documents are only released after user authentication at the printer. This prevents sensitive information from sitting exposed in output trays. 

Comprehensive auditing and tracking capabilities allow you to monitor printing activity across your large organization for compliance purposes. Advanced encryption and secure printing protocols safeguard data as it traverses your network. 

Centralized printer management streamlines configuration, enables print policy enforcement, and saves IT staff time versus managing individual devices. With the high-volume centralized print centers enterprises require, you maximize printer uptime and reduce costs.

Enterprise secure printing mitigates risk, bolsters compliance, and enhances operational efficiency–key priorities for any large business that can’t afford data breaches or operational disruptions.


How can secure printing solutions benefit you?

Whether you’re an enterprise looking for a secure printing system or an SMB needing a more secure solution to protect your data, the following advice is relevant to both business environments.

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

Plus, get access to additional secure printing features like Off-Network Printing, Mobile App Release, and Concurrent IdP Support to extend the security reach of your print environment. 

See firsthand how PrinterLogic leverages secure printing features in the cloud and gives you the protection you need in today’s print environments. 

Get your free 30-day trial of serverless printing today.

Cloud Print Management vs. Cloud Printing

When you hear folks talking about cloud printing, it’s hard not to get a little excited. The key benefits, such as access to select printers from almost anywhere and simplified printing from mobile devices, are impressive—particularly in light of today’s dynamic, mobile, and ever-changing workplace.

But there’s a big difference between cloud print management software and cloud printing. This can get especially confusing when you’re researching cloud print solutions because many companies claim to offer true cloud printing while still using outdated print technology. 


New Cloud Technology vs. Legacy Infrastructure

No one will argue that a cloud printing service comes with some wonderful advantages, yet it continues to be hampered by the traditional print management solutions that most organizations still have in place. This legacy infrastructure—usually in the form of print servers—can make cloud print setup much more difficult than it should be (if it’s even possible).

Furthermore, many cloud print solutions have fundamental limitations that take some of the shine off cloud print setup and cloud printing in general. For instance, most of the popular cloud print solutions require that you use special printers, which restricts your options, or they want your existing printers to be connected to an always-on PC running special software, which drives up the cost and complexity of your infrastructure. They also can’t always promise universal print compatibility with different printer drivers and operating systems.


So What Is Cloud Print Management?

Cloud print management has the ability to deliver all the benefits of cloud printing along with next-generation print management that makes print servers seem like 19th-century technology by comparison. That’s because cloud print management—when it’s done right—truly breaks free from the conventional model of on-premises infrastructure and puts all aspects of enterprise printing into the cloud, where it’s always accessible, always manageable, always available.

However, you’ll note that I made a point to include the caveat when it’s done right in the previous sentence. 

As more and more organizations look to cloud print services to address their enterprise printing needs, an increasing number of cloud printing providers have naturally sought to fill that expanding niche. However, cloud print management is not an easy thing to get right, and lesser cloud print solutions can quickly leave you wishing that you’d never ventured into cloud printing in the first place.


Using Cloud Printing with Managed Print Services?

Managed Print Services take a more comprehensive approach to print management, encompassing not only the hardware and software but also the strategic oversight of an organization’s entire print environment. MPS providers typically offer:

  • Print Fleet Management: MPS includes the management of all printers, copiers, and multifunction devices within an organization, ensuring optimal performance and minimizing downtime.
  • Cost Control: By analyzing printing habits and implementing cost-saving measures, MPS helps organizations reduce their overall printing expenses.
  • Security: Enhanced security measures are often part of MPS, protecting sensitive documents and ensuring compliance with industry regulations.
  • Sustainability: MPS can help organizations implement more environmentally friendly printing practices, reducing waste and promoting sustainability.
  • Strategic Planning: MPS providers work with organizations to develop long-term strategies for improving efficiency and reducing costs, offering regular assessments and updates.

While cloud printing focuses on enabling flexible, remote printing capabilities, Managed Print Services provide a holistic approach to managing an organization’s entire print infrastructure. Both solutions have their place in the modern business environment. By leveraging the right mix of cloud printing and MPS, businesses can achieve a more efficient, cost-effective, and secure printing environment, tailored to their unique operational requirements.


Cloud Print Management with PrinterLogic

PrinterLogic has a proven pedigree as a cloud-native solution. It leverages PrinterLogic’s acclaimed on-premises print management solution and essentially transfers it to a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, thereby allowing you to enjoy the benefits of both effortless cloud printing and effortless cloud print management.

With PrinterLogic SaaS, cloud print setup is easy. From the moment you start, you can simply migrate all of your printers—including profiles, drivers, settings, you name it—from your print server using an easy migration tool. After that, you can add new printers, deploy printer drivers, manage queues, and edit print profiles across your entire organization from a single Admin Console.

Plus, PrinterLogic makes it possible for you to shrink your traditional print infrastructure down to its most efficient, cost-effective state. Our many features allow you to consolidate network printers and even completely eliminate your print servers while enjoying more robust cloud printing capabilities than other cloud print solutions are able to deliver—and all in a secure environment.

So remember, cloud printing is only half of the story. The right cloud print management will migrate your organization’s printing to the cloud with maximum benefit and offer a seamless experience that’s more efficient, more secure, and easier to use.