How to Guarantee Secure Mobile Printing Within Your Company

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More and more businesses are implementing technology to give employees greater access to business functions via mobile devices such as laptop computers, tablets or even the employee’s own personal smartphone. While this promotes convenience for workers who enjoy a hybrid schedule or travel frequently to multiple locations within your organization, be sure to keep your network secure. This includes on-the-go mobile printing requests to the printers on your organization’s network.

Printers are a known target for hackers. If a networked printer is found to be unsecured, a sneaky hacker could exploit this oversight and creep deeper into your network – causing additional headaches and possibly stealing your data.

This article will explain what mobile printing is and how you can better secure your document printing practices. 

RELATED ARTICLE: Best Practices for Secure Printing

What Is Mobile Printing?

Mobile printing is the ability to use a wireless device such as a smartphone to generate a digital request to print a document at a printer. The request can be made anywhere there is an internet connection. However, the device must have access to the desired network and the specific printer for the request to be received.

While the general function of mobile printing is simple, it also adds complexity to keeping the network secure. That’s why it’s a best practice to install mobile printing via a “Follow Me” printing application. 

What Is Follow Me Printing? 

Follow Me printing is a network print queue that does not automatically route pages to a specific printer. Instead, your print job is held in a queue and does not print until you are physically at the printer of your choice and input proper authentication to release and print your document.

In this manner, if you are authorized to use multiple printers within an organization, you can select the printer that best fits your individual document printing job.

A simpler document might only need to print in black on an 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper. A more complex print job could involve color, a larger page size and booklet binding for sales and marketing materials.

Follow Me printing allows greater flexibility as well as increased employee productivity, convenience – and the potential for cost savings! It also provides greater security as users can be restricted access to only select printers or may be granted access to your organization’s entire print fleet.

When configuring your print fleet for Follow Me printing, your organization will be able to choose from release options such as typing in a Personal Identification Number (PIN) or password into a keypad at the printer or swiping a badge at a sensor connected to the device. 

How Can Follow Me Printing Increase Security for My Organization? 

Follow Me printing eliminates the “print-and-sprint” method where a user hits the print button on their device and runs to the printer to pick up the printed document (often containing secure information) before anyone else sees it.

Sure, entering a passcode or swiping a print-enabled security badge takes a few extra seconds. But that momentary hassle makes printing more secure for the entire organization.

In fact, Follow Me printing has additional benefits. If a printer you’ve chosen is malfunctioning, log out of that machine (if you’ve already logged in), walk to another printer you have access to within your network and authenticate yourself at the alternate machine to receive your printed document.

Print fleet security should also include connectivity to keep printer software regularly updated to ward off known software threats and prevent sensitive data from being compromised by hackers. 

How Is Mobile Device Management Best Used? 

Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions help businesses, and their employees keep devices such as personal smartphones, more secure. These solutions lower your security risk via methods such as a device passcode lock, data encryption and the ability to remotely remove corporate data or wipe clean the memory of the device. In addition, MDM solutions have been used to meet industry compliance standards such as HIPAA

Additional Secure Printing Techniques 

Secure printing isn’t all about software. It’s also about logistics. Think about where your shared printers are placed. While they should be convenient for your staff, they should also be away from wandering eyes – such as visitors to your organization.

If a printer is near an area that can be viewed by the public, like a waiting room at a doctor’s office, consider adding side shields to the document output on the device.

Also consider implementing an office printer and copier “do not leave behind” document policy to your employee handbook. This will assist in reducing your printed document security risk. 

Hassle-Free Print Management 

Gordon Flesch Company, your expert Managed Print Services provider, will walk you through your choices and help create a plan to maximize your print fleet efficiency. You’ll enjoy more uptime and fewer headaches knowing that we’re here to assist in enhancing security, increasing productivity and saving you money!

Want to learn more about how print security works and what you can expect from implementing a proper endpoint security strategy for printers? Click the link below to read your complimentary copy of our Quick Guide to Print Security

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