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The Complete Guide to Secure Printing and It's Benefits

4 min reading

Secure printing has been in use for some years now and is slowly becoming more popular. What is secure printing?

It’s mostly a way to prevent your print documents from unauthorized access, by unauthorized eyes. But it carries many other benefits.  


What is the difference between badge printing and secure printing ? 

There always has been a slight confusion between those two terms, so let it be clear once and for all. The action of scanning a badge on a print device is a way to authenticate a user and release the printout that this user has done. So yes a printer which requires a badge scan is a secured printer, but a badge is not the only way to release a print job. Badges are the most common way to release print jobs, but things are changing. 


So what is secure printing anyway ? 

Secure printing, or to be even more clear, secure release is a way of retaining a print job until the owner of this print job authenticates himself (not only with a badge), this authentication action will then allow the print job to be released.


Why should I care about securing my print job ? 

The number one reason is security, preventing data loss. Print is often overlooked when we think about data loss prevention, but whatever your industry, you have sensible information printed everyday payroll, contract, pricing, customer information the list goes on and on. 

If you are in healthcare, legal or Banking the stakes are obviously even higher. 

Alongside security, there are other direct benefits, cost and improved sustainability, more below. 


How do I set-up secure printing within my organisation ? 

There are many ways to implement secure printing, but first you have to understand your actual situation and infrastructure to choose the best solution. Concretely this means knowing how many printers and copiers you have, what kind of release technology they support (badge / PIN / ID)  if you use a print server or not. 

Once you understand that, a good technology partner should be able to guide you in identifying the best solution. There are many types of secure printing software solutions on the market, one of the number one criteria is choosing a solution which is not edited by a printer manufacturer, otherwise you might be definitively locked with a printer brand (or start another secure printing project if you switch). 

Depending on your cloud maturity, you might want to explore a full cloud solution like Direct, lower the administrative burden around server management and software update among many other benefits.


What are the pains of installing secure printing in my organisation ? 

As an IT specialist or administrator, you might face a few challenges when implementing a secure printing solution within your organisation. 

First of which is user acceptance, any change brings friction and this one will not be different, having to swipe a badge, type a PIN code as mundane as it seems will create initial reluctance, but a slight dose of communication around security and sustainability will quickly eliminate that. 

Initial project set-up and administration, depending on the size of your organisation, it could be a long process to choose a provider and launch the implementation process. A typical project for a fleet of 50 or less devices could be achieved in one week, for a more complex fleet and depending on the solution it can reach a couple of months. 

Again the simplicity of the solution will be a key element in this process. 

Last one is Cost, of course, those solutions are not free. Usually the license cost is around 50 euros per year, or fix cost of several hundred euros per device without any time limit. But there is good news, the return on investment is already there. 


What benefit can I expect after implementing secure release ? 

Security improvement, yes that is the main goal. No one will be able to read a document they should not be reading, because this document will not be printed, or the owner will be right here to collect it. 

Cost saving, that is the beauty of secure printing. The reality in most companies is that around 20% of print jobs are never collected, that is a huge figure. So implementing secure printing in your organisation will immediately avoid this waste of money , and this could be huge.

Improved sustainability, reducing the amount of print of 20% from one day to another means less paper, you will also avoid wasting trees in the paper manufacturing process, by the way did you know that the average employee use the equivalent of one tree per year 

Discover our DYALOG Software to secure printing !