Best Practices For Printer Security

Sticky Notes Blog

March 24, 2020

Best Practices For Printer Security

Stringent security practices ensure the safety and confidentiality of private information. Implementing protocol for shredding documents, transferring information amongst staff, and sending sensitive, external emails is crucial. However, secure info may also be at risk within your office space—even your home office—if printer security measures are not taken. Here, we share the importance of implementing secure printing workflows and setting up managed print services

The Importance of Printer Security

Online printer systems are convenient for ease of printing, faxing, and scanning, however, they may expose risk to outside threats. Hackers can gain access to printers from worlds away and steal data without ever stepping foot into the work space. Once inside, they are able to take previously scanned documents, internal correspondence, and confident banking information; essentially, anything printed, scanned or faxed will be available. 

Printed, physical documents also contain high levels of risk. When left in printer trays or discarded in recycle bins, they can easily be picked up, photographed, or recorded. While you may have secure document disposal practices in place, staff may not have proper workflows to account for information left unattended for extended periods of time. 

Consider Risk at All Points in a Print Cycle

Before implementing a secure printing protocol, analyze your professional printing practices. If you’re working with a team, ask your staff to submit their current printing workflows so you can have a complete picture of a print cycle. If certain employees have personal desk-top printers, they will need a separate and specific security protocol. Use this information to create a robust printing workflow that ensures a document is safe, private, and secure throughout its life cycle. From start to finish of each print job, be certain that data is kept confidential. 

Guard Documents Upon Submission 

Ensuring that you operate off of a secure network remains one of the most important steps in online privacy. If your company utilizes a print server, this network should also be encrypted. Go one step further and password protect any wireless printers so that sensitive data stays safe at all points of creation and submission.  

Secure Printing Jobs at Arrival

There are numerous ways to create a secure path from computer to printer. One of the best methods is an authorized-released system in which the user can send the job from their computer and release it upon arrival at the printer. This ensures no documents are left exposed in the tray. In the workplace, employees will use a keycard or scanner to release their specific documents. Even if the job was sent to the incorrect printer, only that employee would be able to release it. 

Maintain Protocol Through Completion 

Any data remaining on the printer hard drive can be easily accessed by anyone passing through. Creating a workflow for printing practices enables you to send items to print and pick them up promptly. Or, set up a removable, encrypted drive and erase documents at the end of their life cycles.  

Implementing a print workflow ensures information stays private and is disposed of accordingly. EON Office helps organizations save time and money by monitoring printer activity  through our managed print services – leaving you more time to create and monitor security practices. If COVID-19 has moved you to a remote work setting, we can help with home office essentials. Contact us today to learn more.