Clarity Blog

Secure Print. Do You Have a Weak Link in Your Network?

Read Time: 5 Minutes
December 3, 2019
Secure Print. Do You Have a Weak Link in Your Network?

Do you have a weak link in your overall security strategy? Have you ever sent a document to the printer only to get there to discover it didn’t print or, worse yet, someone picked it up by accident? Did your document actually print, or did someone pick it up by accident? Have you ever walked by a printer to see confidential documents waiting to be picked up? Cost control and secure management of documents is top of mind for many companies. Let’s face it. There are times that what you’re printing is confidential and needs to be secure, either in printed form or in electronic form.

Your IT department has ensured that your network is secure. Your computer has various login authentications to ensure you are who you say you are. But what about your printers? Printing should be just as secure as your electronic documents. Many companies have introduced multi function printers or shared team/floor printers. How do you secure your documents from prying eyes? Manufacturers have come up with different methods to secure your output. Here is a review of several of the more common implementations.

Follow Me Print or Pull Printing

This option provides the flexibility to print from any associated devices. Your print jobs are located on a server. If your main printer is down, you can walk down the hall to an associated printer, authenticate yourself, select your print job and release it. This not only saves time but is secure and protects confidential documents by allowing you to release these jobs in a more private environment if required.

Pin Printing or Locked Print

This refers to a document sent to a printer which only releases the print job when the owner authenticates themselves with a PIN. This not only saves companies money from reducing forgotten prints but also creates a layer of security.

What About Large Format Printers in your company?

HP contracted Spiceworks to complete a survey of 501 IT decision-makers around the world. 78% of them did not monitor their printers for security threats. Firewalls alone cannot withstand attacks from sophisticated hackers. Understanding the points of vulnerability within your printer fleet and applying layers of protection at every endpoint is a must in today’s environment.

HP not only offers the most secure large format printers in the world, but part of their philosophy is to save the customer money. They accomplish this in a variety of ways. From very low ink consumption, in both printing and maintenance, to securing various endpoints in the large format printer fleet, protecting your data.

Imagine if your information is jeopardized due to unsecured printing. The result could include identity theft, stolen competitive information, a tarnished brand image and reputation, and litigation. Additionally, regulatory and legal noncompliance can result in heavy fines.

Protecting the printer

  1. At startup, their secure printers will check the BIOS to ensure that the HP-signed code is being loaded.
  2. The printer then checks to see if the firmware is digitally signed by HP
  3. After being rebooted, the HP JetAdvantage Security Manager checks and fixes any affected device security settings.

Protecting the Data

  1. The self-encrypted hard drive protects sensitive business information stored on the hard drive.
  2. The secure file erase feature ensures that no data is left behind in the printer after your files are deleted from the hard disk.
  3. Secure disk erase deletes all information from the printer’s hard disk, making it impossible to recover sensitive data.
  4. Standard encryption protocols 802.1x or IPSec use encrypted network standards to protect data traveling over the network.

Protecting the Documents

  1. Pull Printing, using Celiveo Enterprise, is a fully integrated secure printing and tracking solution. This access control-based function has end-to-end tracking and reporting to protect sensitive information and media and reduce unclaimed print jobs. It helps boost productivity and keep abandoned documents from falling into the wrong hands. HP DesignJet large-format printers are also compatible with other third-party pull printing solutions.
  2. Encrypted PIN printing allows users to send confidential print jobs, by assigning a PIN to the document from within the printer driver. The document will then be held in the printer until the user enters the PIN at the device. This way the user can be sure their confidential document won’t be left unattended. With encrypted PIN printing, document data is encrypted when the document is sent to the printer to protect document confidentiality through the network.

Is your print environment secure? Contact us today to discuss how a managed services contract can be used to upgrade your large format printers to a more secure fleet with very little incremental costs to what you are spending today.