Lock Down Your Printed Output Security Risks with Follow Me Printing

Security is a big deal. Personal security, home security, business security. We all value and crave the kind of peace of mind that comes from knowing that everything is safe and sound.

Ensuring that an organisation’s data is secure is vital. It always has been, but it’s now more critical than ever. Viruses and hacks are no longer just things that paranoid IT managers worry about; they’re genuine threats to firms all across the world.

It’s not just intangible sequences of binary numbers floating about the air that can undermine a company’s security, though. Printed documents can also go missing and present a genuine risk to the firm that wasn’t looking after their paperwork well enough.

Printer security isn’t something we’ve dreamed up or an industry myth. In fact, a 2017 managed print services landscape report by research and analysis company Quocirca claims that more than 80% of companies questioned in their survey had reported severe concerns about print-related data losses in the past year. That same study goes on to claim that a shocking 61% of firms quizzed reported actual print-related data breaches and losses in the previous twelve months. Scary, eh?

Printer security risks are real in any working environment with shared printing, and the ramifications of losing printed documents can potentially be pretty severe. But don’t panic. There’s a solution.

Firstly, let’s assume that you’ve secured your printing infrastructure and workflows pretty well.

Now you can move onto securing your printed output.

Okay, So What Exactly Are the Risks?

Anyone who has worked in an office knows that far too much printing goes on. That’s one of the main reasons Nustream exists, to help reduce it. Walk past any printer, and you’ll see print jobs sat there doing nothing. Maybe they’ve been printed in error; perhaps they’re unwanted duplicates. Whatever they are, they not getting picked up. And they might just contain sensitive information.

Okay, so most businesses have privacy and print policies, but no one can mitigate against human error. Sending a print job to an incorrect Multi-Function Device, office (or even country) is easily and quickly done – all just at the click of a button.

What Can a Breach of Security Mean For My Organisation?

It depends on what you lose. Chances are no one will find the documents, and you’ll be fine. But if the print jobs contain sensitive information and they do find their way into the hands of someone they shouldn’t, the consequences could be dire. Not only can you leak confidential business data, but you can also unwittingly fall foul of the Data Protection Act – and that’s no laughing matter. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) levies hefty penalties against organisations that breach the DPA.

Such a breach will affect your reputation. And your bottom line.

So What’s the Answer?

Follow Me printing from Papercut is undoubtedly one of the answers. With Follow Me it’s possible to all but eradicate most of the severe security risks associated with printing out documents. This smart office printing software solution monitors and records all print jobs sent through it, allowing admins to create activity reports and track use. Entirely securely – making sure all valuable data is protected.

Users can print to shared queues and release print jobs from any MFD they desire on the network, from handheld devices or at the MFD itself. So they can watch the document be created and ensure it doesn’t get lost. Thereby completely cutting out the risk of sending a report to print and then forgetting to pick it up at the machine. With Follow Me, the print job isn’t created until the user is actually at the device.

What Else Can I Do?

There are also other strategies you can employ to try and cut down the risks facing your business when it comes to printed output. You can improve accountability and scare off anyone who may be willing to leak private print jobs with digital signatures. Invisible to the naked eye, these little codes are fully traceable and leaked documents can be pinpointed to specific devices, accounts and people.

And one of the very best ways to cut down on the chance of losing printed documents that are potentially sensitive? Cut down on your printing. It’s simple – the less you print, the less chance that you’ll lose print jobs, intentionally or unintentionally. Try to print less by embracing new and innovative workflows and things like digital cloud-based archiving, and you need worry about printed output security risks a whole lot less. After all, a paperless office doesn’t have any paper to lose!

Security is a big deal. But compartmentalise it and implement some smart thinking and it’s a deal you’ll have tied up in no time.


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