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School printing’s top 4 security leaks

School printing’s top 4 security leaks

Printing is one of the most overlooked areas of IT security. But many security wins and losses happen at that big grey box in the corner of your staff room. 

Schools are home to sensitive information for hundreds of students. That amplifies the ramifications of said security victories and failures.

But print security isn’t about hackers infiltrating your network. The most common print security “leaks” are human errors. Understandable little lapses, but with major consequences for student, teacher, and staff welfare.

School printing’s 4 most typical data spills

Securing the data of your students, parents, teachers, and staff is the most important element of print management in education.

The data found in a school has life-changing implications.

But honest mistakes do happen. That’s why we don’t like the term “breach” when it comes to school print security. We prefer the term “spill” because these little leaks are incredibly commonplace. We’re all capable of making tiny errors.

However, lots of tiny errors can add up. 

We want to walk you through the most typical sources of data spills in school printing environments.

#1 Printing to the wrong printer and not collecting your print job

This happens every day. 

You’ve clicked print, but accidentally chose the wrong printer. 

Instead of spitting out of the MFD, you’re standing before, your print job plops out in a different building or on another campus!

When this happens, we often assume, “Oh, the document didn’t print,” and press ‘Print’ again. We now have an uncollected duplicate that anybody could pick up. 

#2 Getting side-tracked and forgetting to collect a job

We’ve all done this. 

You could be standing at the printer waiting for your document then the PE teacher, Kenny, asks you to help him stretch before his class. 

Then before you know it you’re dipping and diving with Kenny while the students hurl dodgeballs at you. 

Meanwhile, your print job is long forgotten and awaiting anybody’s mitts.

#3 Paper jams!

This one’s a less obvious security risk.

You turn up at the printer. You know darn well you selected the right one. But there’s no print job… You’ll just grumble, quote Office Space, then select a different printer.

But later when a paper jam’s resolved, there’s now a crumpled-up extra copy of your document. 

#4 Leaving behind a printout elsewhere

Sometimes we remember to collect our print job, but then we’ll get side-tracked when multi-tasking elsewhere.

On these occasions, we might leave behind our print job on a desk or on the staff room lunch table.

And, uh oh, someone’s making a paper plane out of sensitive information.

Shielding your print job’s entire lifecycle 

All these data spills happen at different stages of a print job’s journey.

With PaperCut print management software we help your school secure your print documents:

  1. Before printing – by securing your infrastructure
  2. During printing – by securing your print workflows 
  3. After printing – by securing your printed output

Our solutions offer tools and features that help you bolster the physical, administrative, and technological layers of your print environment’s security.

Watch our on-demand webinar to find out more

For the full rundown of PaperCut products and features that double down on your school’s print security, watch our “Better printing in education” webinar.

You can also read our in-depth PaperCut security whitepaper.

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