How to Adopt Zero Trust Printing

If someone were to tell you you should be scared of your printers, you’d likely laugh in their face. While clunky, they aren’t exactly an intimidating adversary. What everyone doesn’t know is that printers pose a huge, costly threat to your organization.

Printers connected to your corporate network are a wide attack vector for hackers. Along with being an entryway into your business’s network, hackers are able to attack other applications and launch ransomware through a compromised printer, wreaking havoc on your organization. 

According to this print security report by Quocirca, over two-thirds (68%) of organizations have experienced data losses due to unsecured printing practices in the past 12 months, leading to an average of $770,000 per data breach.

Since the need for printers remains high in the workplace, companies must pivot from traditional security measures towards Zero Trust printing in order to protect company data. 

 

Understanding Zero Trust

Before jumping off the deep end, it’s important to understand the basics. A Zero Trust Network Architecture (ZTNA) is a completely new approach to traditional network models. The structure as a whole is based on one principle: Never trust, always verify.

Traditional Network: This model inherently trusts anyone inside their network’s perimeter and is protected through a single verification point (typically a basic password based on an employee’s pet). 

Zero Trust Network: A security model in which no device is trusted by default, and users must be continually authenticated, authorized, and validated before being allowed access to applications and data, whether they are inside or outside the organization’s network.

Traditional networks are no longer safe because once any endpoint inside the network is compromised, attackers can move laterally and gain access to anything else on that network. Within a  Zero Trust network, access is limited, which is one of the most critical pieces of an effective Zero Trust strategy since most cyberattacks are internal and, more often than not, accidental.

 

Strengthening Your Network Security

Remote work is here to stay. While employees enjoy the conveniences of not commuting to an office, IT departments are flailing to put in place the robust back-end infrastructures needed to protect organizations’ data amid the transition. 

As employees use their own home printers for company printing, this poses two potential attack surfaces for hackers:

  1. An unsecured machine connected to a company computer. Connecting a company computer to an unsecured home printer provides a gateway past any VPN or security. Once a hacker moves from the printer to the company drive, they can gain access to the company’s primary network.

  2. Information is stored on the printer’s hard drive. Printer hard drives store previously queued print jobs for a varying degree of time. Hackers are able to break into these hard drives using a back door to view sensitive company information by accessing the employee’s home Wi-Fi.

Organization’s using a traditional network model don’t stand a chance against these threats. However, shifting to a Zero Trust approach means avoiding these types of vulnerabilities altogether by eliminating outdated infrastructure, like print servers, and going serverless. This reduces attack surfaces, strengthens security for remote workers, provides threat detection and prevention, and allows companies more visibility into print activity overall. 

 

Investing in Print Security 

Now that you understand the time to transition to a Zero Trust printing architecture is now, it’s important to select the right print management solution for your organization. The best possible solution will check these four critical boxes:

✔ Access and identity management

✔ Authentication for all connections and endpoints

✔ Segmentation of data to limit harm from breaches

✔ Simple, secure management features

PrinterLogic inherently checks off every box and possesses the necessary tools for your Zero Trust Printing environment. You can finally address your organization’s needs with a scalable solution that offers round-the-clock network protection and unlocks the true potential of your document and print management processes. 

 


Ready to see what Zero Trust Printing from PrinterLogic can do for you? Schedule a demo today. 

How to Achieve the Printing Efficiency You Need with Rule-Based Automation

Output Management Rules & Routing

Your electronic medical record system, enterprise resource planning, and other large-scale applications your organization relies on form critical parts of business processes. It’s crucial the output from those systems ends up in the right place, in the correct format, and on time.

With Vasion’s introduction of Output Management comes higher reliability, speed of delivery, and unification of management for both office and back-end application print management when printing from these systems, but still leaves the opportunity to further increase the efficiency, accuracy, and reliability of print and workflow tasks. 

 

Our customers stress that better efficiency is necessary for their output processes.

One of the concerns commonly brought up by customers I’ve spoken to has been ensuring uptime for critical printing with their printers themselves. If the printer designated for shipping labels or customer invoices breaks, it can put a serious dent in productivity while it’s down, and it’s not always easy to redirect traffic to a new printer within a customer’s application, resulting in unacceptable downtime.

Additionally, these environments often bring processes requiring manual intervention. A healthcare organization we worked with hoped to reduce costs by printing the majority of their documents in black and white, with only after-visit summaries printed in color to maintain a positive patient experience. Now, a manual touchpoint is introduced into the printing process, and it’s up to the individual clinician to remember to select the correct setting for just that type of job every time. 

 

These, and many other examples, drove Rules & Routing, a rule-based automation feature, as part of our Output Management Bundle. 

I challenge you to look deeper into your printing processes–you’ll notice those manual touchpoints often arise in your print environment, like manually converting documents to print-ready PDFs, paper notes taped to the printer reminding employees to print only in black and white, and attaching digital files to emails after scanning. These can all be automated as rules that trigger specific actions based on a set of behaviors. 


The three main components of Rules & Routing: 

  • Triggers are used to watch for specific events that should prompt the Rules & Routing service to decide which course of action to take.
  • Conditions provide the qualifying attributes that decide whether or not an action should be performed.
  • Actions are the actual behavior applied when conditions are met. 

These automated rules reduce or even eliminate any manual intervention, alter print data, increase document security, ensure proper delivery of documents, and more. In addition, document delivery goes beyond printers, including delivery direct to storage folders or through email, eliminating the manual touchpoint for your coworkers. 

 

Let’s look back at the example above from our customer needing to ensure continuous uptime for their printing processes. 

To solve this issue, I would create a rule that automatically reroutes my print data to a backup printer in the event we detect print failures on the primary printer to avoid long periods of downtime by following these steps:

  1. Create a rule with the trigger “Print Job Failed”
  2. Choose a condition selecting the primary printer(s) you are watching for failures
  3. And the “Redirect print job” action, where you’d select the backup printer
  4. Optionally, you could also add an additional action to email the originating user to alert them their job is located on a new printer