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The risks and rewards of BYOD printing

July 03, 2017

The risks and rewards of BYOD printing

The conveniences of being able to work anywhere on any device, including one’s own smartphone or tablet, can’t be overestimated. It gives employees freedom and flexibility and can even boost productivity (not to mention, morale).

Still, BYOD is not without its challenges, especially when it comes to security. A lost or stolen smartphone, an app downloaded from a malicious developer that turns out to be malware or even a connection to public Wi-Fi can severely jeopardize a company’s data and entire network.

BYOD printing can be risky, too, without the right safeguards. Consider these scenarios:

An employee in a business meeting prints a confidential document from a mobile device at a hotel, a convention center or client’s office—and the document falls into the wrong hands.

An employee prints a confidential business document at home, and an unencrypted imprint of it exists on the hard drive of a device that gets lost or stolen.

An employee prints from a personal device that happens to be infected with malware, which ends up infecting the office printer and the company network.

Taking the proper precautions and putting sufficient security protocols in place can help prevent scenarios like these from becoming disasters.

How to make BYOD printing more secure

Here are some tips to help your customers enjoy the benefits and minimize the risks of BYOD printing:

  • Make all employees aware of the security risks of common practices like downloading unapproved mobile apps and connecting to open Wi-Fi networks.
  • Provide employees who travel with a secure mobile print app like HP ePrint Enterprise for their smart devices. This will allow them to send documents in an encrypted form to company-approved mobile print locations where they can retrieve the documents with a specific retrieval code.
  • Insist that all personal devices used for work are equipped to print securely. Make sure they have security features such as password lock, automatic session timeout and appropriate data-access and printing permissions.
  • Authenticate employees and require them to use personal identification numbers (PINs), access cards or fingerprint readers in order to print.
  • Allow employees wherever they’re working to access documents on the network using VPN. 

Pull printing: BYOD printing safeguarded

More and more organizations are adopting pull printing as a convenient and safe alternative for mobile users. It’s easy to implement, and most major manufacturers now offer this function as part of their printing solutions.

Pull printing works by sending a print job to a protected server that delivers or “pulls” the job. Employees then use their PINs or smart cards to access and print the documents, from anywhere, using any printer that’s connected to the server. With pull printing, employees can print as many documents as they need, have them waiting for them in the queue and pick them up in bulk later on—but the documents are only released upon user authentication.

By implementing safety measures like these, your customers can enjoy the rewards of BYOD printing without the risks. And they’ll appreciate your recommendations.