If you’ve ever heard of mobile printing, you’re already familiar with the concept of secure print. However, there are many more methods of implementing secure print than mobile print. Secure print is, specifically, a solution that adds an extra but critical step to the printing process: user authentication.
Imagine you’re sitting at your desk, and you need to print a sensitive document, like HR paperwork that displays an employee’s personal identifying information. Without a secure print solution, once you’ve hit the “print” button on your laptop, the document is released for print.
It doesn’t matter how far away you are from the printer, if there are other employees currently at the printer, or even if the printer isn’t able to print currently. Without secure print, that document is in the printer’s queue, and once it can print, it will.
This can lead to a myriad of bad situations, such as: an employee accidentally (or purposefully) viewing a sensitive document, a sensitive document mistakingly being thrown away, or the person who printed the document being forced to frantically search for paper to refill a tray, so that way when the printer can actually print, the document doesn’t automatically start printing because it was stuck in the queue.
Essentially, it’s an uncontrolled mess.
With secure print, the employee would press “print,” casually walk to the printer, and then scan a card, or input a code, or even use their smartphone to release the document, and then pick up the job after it’s done printing. Some secure print solutions even support features that will prevent a document from being sent to a printer that can’t currently print, such as if there is a paper jam, or it is out of paper.
Secure print can be implemented using the following methods:
- PINs for each employee
- RFID cards
- Username & password
While all of these options have their own pros and cons, they all accomplish the same thing: ensure your printed documents are secure, and are only seen by those who were intended to see them.