How to Implement Zero Trust Printing

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The trend of zero trust printing is growing. If your business is searching for ways to secure your data, remember to include your networked printers as a part of your plan.

And if you’re searching for more information on how to add a zero trust approach to your office printing environment, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s dive into what zero trust means in an office printing environment and how it is used. 

What is Zero Trust Printing? 

Zero trust printing means “trust nobody.” In zero trust printing, controls have been added to an organization’s networked printers to increase visibility and security. These controls provide a wide range of benefits, including reduced paper waste, greater security of freshly printed materials and an electronic record of who printed a project, which machine they used and what was printed. 

The Components of Zero Trust Printing 

Highly regulated industries such as healthcare and legal organizations have been the first to adopt zero trust printing practices as they frequently handle confidential materials.

However, today we’ve seen interest in zero trust printing from a wide variety of organizations and market verticals. If your business has shared printers, you should consider implementing zero trust printing.

To give a bit more detail, the foundation of zero trust printing is based on the following three core components: 

1. Always Verify

Managed print technology can be installed on shared printers to increase the security of document printing. This is most commonly done by installing secure printing software which requires users to swipe a programmed badge or card at a reader attached to the printer or enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN) into the keypad on the printer. After the user is verified and authorized to use the shared printer of their choice, they can select the job that they sent to print and release it for printing.

Adding a secure printing feature on a shared printer or multifunction device will help to keep sensitive information safe. It also includes added benefits such as assisting to curb unintended printing, thereby conserving paper and cutting down on paper waste.

INFOGRAPHIC: Go Green with Managed Print

2. Provide Least Privileged Access with Segmentation 

Unrestricted access to printers can be a costly security vulnerability. That’s why securing your office print environment is important. When using secure printing technology, you’ll have the opportunity to define the printing access available to each user. This allows you to segment your users and provide them access to only the printers (or multifunction devices) that they need.

Perhaps you have a high-end printer designated for specialty marketing materials and product manuals. In this instance, users could have access to higher quality paper in a variety of sizes and additional binding features typically not found on the other office printers. Given the higher cost per page to print on this machine, access to this printer could be restricted to only the users who need to print these specialty materials on a regular basis.

The same goes for organizations with multiple locations. Most of your users will only need access to printers at their physical location, not at other buildings. However, your organization may have management, salespeople or other users who travel and conduct business at more than one of your organization’s locations. Give user access to the printers they need and block use to the printers they don’t. 

3. Assume the Risk of a Breach 

The zero risk approach automatically assumes that every print job contains security risk. Therefore, through the use of secure printing, all print jobs are tracked. Security administrators can access analytics to increase visibility, drive threat detection and use the data to improve future defenses.

In fact, a Midwestern public school district used their zero risk approach to determine who printed a bomb threat on a school printer. Security threats can present themselves in a variety of ways! 

Zero Trust Printing for Office Environments 

The experts at Gordon Flesch Company are here to assist you in evaluating your office technology needs and implement zero trust printing to increase security at your organization. Contact us for a free, needs assessment. It only takes 30 minutes, but it could save your organization from a costly security breach.

Gain an overview of why print security is important, how it works and what you can expect from implementing a proper endpoint security strategy. Click the link below to download our Quick Guide to Print Security, to learn more. 

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