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The importance of end-to-end security for print management

This post first appeared in March 8, 2018. It’s since been updated with commentary on cool new security features.

How well do you understand the security of your print jobs?

I’m not just talking about the security protecting your print server – I mean the actual printing process itself, from start to finish. In other words, the end-to-end security of print jobs.

NEWS FLASH! Print management isn’t particularly glamorous, security-wise

I’d wager that print management is the least interesting function in your workplace.

Let’s face it, print management doesn’t have the glitz and glamour of trojans and keyloggers; it’s not as Hollywood as black hat hackers.

Rather, print management is the annoying, we’re out of toner again, where’s the spare paper kept, there’s another paper jam, why don’t my prints come out problem child of your IT ecosystem.

Why end-to-end print security matters

It’s vitally important to add your print environment to your security checklist. Why? Because it’s prone to attacks from outside the workplace, and carelessness from within .

Fortunately, PaperCut MF supports end-to-end encryption on the network. Not just security at the printer, but from the device to the print server, the print server to the printer, and the printer to the user. With Papercut MF, you’re protected from “I want to print this” to “I’ve printed this, now it’s time for coffee”.

The joys of spool file encryption

This clever little feature is for organizations who are sensitive to print jobs being accessed via the disk. Spool file encryption means that all print jobs are encrypted when they’re stored on the disk of the print provider while waiting to be printed.

Oh yes indeed! Every single one has an extra layer of security. With this feature (released in PaperCut 20.1), we’re currently supporting Windows OS where the Windows environment must be at least Server 2012.

PaperCut MF and GDPR

If you have customers in the EU (including the UK), you’re affected by the GDPR privacy regulations . End-to-end encryption plays a mighty big part in ensuring you’re GDPR-compliant. After all, your multifunction printers are handling sensitive data all the time.

Fortunately (again), PaperCut MF is so compliant with GDPR, we wrote a compliance guide for it!

PaperCut’s end-to-end encryption philosophy

At PaperCut, our approach to end-to-end print security is:

  • Apply (standardized secure printing protocols for print jobs in transmission)
  • Validate (checking it works at each point)
  • Maintain (keeping print job encryption processes up-to-date)

These steps are lovingly explained in the comprehensive guide to end-to-end print security post in the PaperCut knowledge base. If you’re not sure whether your print environment has end-to-end encryption enabled, I heartily recommend a visit to that post.


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