Because of their mission-critical nature, printers can pose security challenges in today’s IT environment. Like any peripheral, they can serve as openings to a network for hackers and malicious code or viruses. They can also be used as conduits to steal important information or inadvertently become a source for unwanted document sharing. The result of any of these breaches can be fines, lawsuits, loss of a competitive edge, and just plain embarrassment.
Secure print solutions are designed to protect businesses from these negative outcomes. Your customers might not realize it, but their printers and copiers have to be secured just like any other device connected to their networks. It’s your job to help them understand this before something bad happens and also to put their minds at ease by letting them know you have something that can protect them.
Following are five ways that a secure print solution will give your customers peace of mind:
- Ensuring privacy: How often are jobs sent to output and then left on the printer tray? Maybe the person who sent the job becomes distracted or the job was inadvertently sent to the wrong printer. What if these happen to be sensitive documents, like payroll reports, for example? Worse yet, what if they are restricted documents like patient records, of which unauthorized viewing can be a finable offense in the eyes of the federal government? Secure solutions typically require that a user send a job to a printer queue and can only retrieve that job by logging in at the targeted device.
- Protection against malicious hacks: According to a March 2015 study by the Ponemon Institute, 64 percent of IT managers believe their printers are likely infected with malware. Secure print solutions like HPSureStart can guard against this by doing things like validating the integrity of a device’s BIOS code at every boot cycle. HP’s run-time intrusion detection can be used to check for anomalies during complex firmware and memory operations. This helps protect network devices while they are operating—when most malicious attacks occur.
- Prevent unauthorized usage: A secure print solution can be used to control who is able to utilize a device through a variety of log-in mechanisms, including common access cards in highly secure environments. This not only prevents unauthorized users from accessing devices and any documents that may be available through them, but it provides a business with an audit trail of who was printing, scanning, and copying when and how much.
- Prevents data leakage: Having an audit trail should help with this, but secure print software can also secure any USB connections, as well as connections to cloud repositories. This prevents digitized documents from leaving an organization unknown to management. Secure print solutions can also be used to encrypt digital files being captured by a multi-function peripheral (MFP) for transportation somewhere else, like through e-mail or to a server. They also can encrypt files that are stored on a device and delete them after they no longer need to be there.
- Reduce waste:It’s estimated that 20 percent of all printed paper is wasted—forgotten, lost, or trashed unread. Making a user log in before a job is put to paper virtually eliminates this waste. This is a side benefit of a secure print solution, but who doesn’t like to eliminate waste and the cost and environmental impact associated with it?
The bottom line is that secure print solutions are available that can ensure that your customers’ 21st-century printing implementations have 21st-century security associated with them. This will enable your customers to take full advantage of their network MFPs without having to worry about the vulnerabilities they can expose. This should increase your customers’ peace of mind, at least as far as printing is concerned. They will then be able to focus their worries on other areas of their businesses.