Easy, secure, and reliable. No, those aren’t the 3 cloud print management terms. That’s what you want, nay, need cloud print management to be: simple, safe, and dependable.
Easy - you need the initial set-up and everyday user experience to be as hassle-free as possible (because who wants to read a manual for Spotify?)
Secure - you need the software to be secure and compliant so you never have to worry about anyone other than you and your business having access to your data.
Reliable - you need the printing experience to be fast and powerful with no concerns about slow printing speeds and backed-up print queues.
How does cloud print management achieve simplicity, security, and reliability?
These three features of our new cloud-native platform deliver those needs:
- Edge Mesh
- Shift-left security
- “Always verify”
So, okay, we’re kind of cheating here.
These terms might be specific to our cloud-native print management solution, PaperCut Hive, but trust me, you’re about to hear them… ALL. THE. TIME.
1. Edge Mesh
Our PaperCut Edge Mesh technology is the backbone of our new cloud-based print management product, PaperCut Hive. When we started brainstorming a cloud-native printing solution, we made the decision to start from scratch with a complete line-one code rewrite.
Backstory time! Our powerful flagship solution PaperCut MF is perfectly suited for private and hybrid cloud print management, but when it comes to public cloud print management software, we decided to build from the ground-up, and not just spin up a private cloud solution for the public cloud.
There were three big questions hovering around how best to go cloud-native:
- How do we make it secure?
- How do we leverage all of the cloud’s potential power for print?
- How do we make it simple?
We looked to another field in IT that tackled reliability between hardware and the internet - IoT (Internet of Things - smart homes, automated lighting systems, etc). We borrowed two concepts: Edge computing and a self-healing mesh to form PaperCut Edge Mesh.
We recently posted about the only ways to achieve public cloud print management - that is, where do you run the software that lets the cloud talk to the printer - on the printer, on a computer, or on a dedicated device?
We chose a computer-first approach, which is the Edge Mesh. But we removed the single point of failure - instead of running the software on one computer, it’s run on multiple computers. This means the software will support your most common printer from Best Buy. Then over time, we will scale out to also running on printers and devices as the platform matures.
PaperCut Edge Mesh brings you the best of both worlds - multi-tenant public cloud SaaS functionality and the security and resilience of on-premise print management.
2. Shift-left security
When designing public cloud software, the first consideration is security. Why? Because the public cloud is on the internet - which is a frightening place when it comes to data safety.
With on-premise and private cloud print management solutions, the internet is less of a threat because your data isn’t leaving your network, it’s talking to your print-server or to the data center acting as your private cloud.
The second you’re talking about the public cloud, the conversation changes entirely. Public cloud means you’re accessing the cloud over the internet, which introduces a variety of security concerns. Think the Wild West of networks: poisonous cacti, dusty streets, information just waiting to be snatched up by a lawless varmint and thrown on the back of their trusty steed, never to be seen again as they ride off into the sunset…
Some print management solutions are suited to the private cloud but, for whatever reason, have been spun up into the public cloud. The problem with this approach is the software is running in an environment for which its security features were not designed for. Danger, Will Robinson!
We didn’t want to just slap a public cloud label on our private cloud solutions, we wanted to tailor-make a cloud-native solution.
So it’s time for me to throw snazzy cloud print management term # 2 at you - shift-left security. This means that security is a part of the product design process before an engineer even writes one line of code. The solution is designed with security at the forefront of the software’s architecture.
Security isn’t just handled by penetration testing towards the end of the product’s lifespan (right on the timeline), security moves left on the product timeline to the earliest stage of its inception so that data safety is baked into the product from the offset.
It’s the difference between a public cloud print management solution whose security features have been designed for data traversing the internet, and a private cloud print management solution that has been spun up into the public cloud - which you definitely want to avoid.
3. “Always verify”
This sounds like every interaction you’ve had with an in-law ever, but I promise it’s actually a legit security term. It’s also where all of these cloud print management terms intersect.
PaperCut’s cloud-native Edge Mesh technology, designed with shift-left principles, forms an “always verify” network. No component, person, or device is trusted by default from inside or outside the Edge Mesh. Authentication is required from everyone at all times when accessing resources on your network.
This security method for the public cloud is different from the on-prem approach, which assumes if you’re on the network, you’re trusted with access.
The best practice for mesh networking, this never trust and “always verify” approach reduces the probability of potential security breaches from inside and outside your network.
With an “always verify” network, your data is safe even if transiting over unencrypted WiFi i.e. you’re printing to your network from a remote location like a cafe.
The backbone of PaperCut’s cloud-native platform
Following shift-left security principles, PaperCut’s Edge Mesh technology has an “always verify” network baked in before the first line of code was written.