Myths About Print Security: Unveiling the Truth Behind Common Misconceptions

Fabrice Arnoux

In the digital age, it’s easy to overlook the importance of print security. Myths and misconceptions about this topic abound, leading many to underestimate its significance in a comprehensive data protection strategy. I’m here to debunk these myths and shed some light on the crucial role that secure printing practices play in safeguarding sensitive information.

One common myth is that printers pose no significant security risk. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, unsecured printers can provide an easy access point for hackers looking to infiltrate your network. They’re not just output devices; modern printers are complex machines fully capable of storing and processing data.

Another prevalent myth is that print security is all about protecting physical documents. While securing hard copies of sensitive information is indeed important, it’s only one component of a robust print security plan. Digital aspects such as printer firmware, stored print jobs, and network connections also require stringent protective measures. It’s high time we bust these myths wide open and start taking print security seriously!

Understanding Print Security

Let’s dive right into the heart of print security. It’s a topic that, despite its importance, is often overlooked in many businesses. But what exactly is it? Simply put, print security involves protecting your company’s printed information from unauthorized access and misuse.

Now, you might be thinking, “But I’m just printing documents. How risky could that be?” Well, consider this: In a recent survey conducted by Quocirca, it was found that 60% of businesses had experienced a print-related data breach in the past year. That’s more than half! Here’s how it breaks down:

Percentage Experience
60% Experienced a print-related data breach
40% Did not experience a print-related data breach

The truth is, every document printed within your business contains valuable information – from client details to internal strategies. If these fall into the wrong hands, it can lead to serious repercussions.

So how can we prevent this? There are several measures you can take:

  • Implementing secure printing protocols: This means that users must authenticate themselves before they’re able to retrieve their prints.
  • Encrypting sensitive data: By encrypting sensitive information before it’s sent to the printer, you’re adding an extra layer of protection.
  • Regularly updating printer software: Just like with any technology, keeping your printer software up-to-date ensures you have the latest security features.

I hope by now you’ve realized that print security isn’t something to be taken lightly. It plays a crucial role in safeguarding your company’s sensitive information and maintaining trust with clients. So let’s debunk some myths about it in our next section!

Debunking Myths About Print Security

Let’s dive right into the heart of the matter. There’s a common myth that print security isn’t as important as digital security. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a report by Quocirca in 2020 revealed that 77% of organizations had experienced a print-related data breach in the past year.

Another misconception I’ve come across is the belief that small businesses don’t need to worry about print security. But here’s the thing: regardless of your business size, any data you’re handling needs protection. It’s not just large corporations that are at risk; small businesses can also fall victim to data breaches.

Many folks also mistakenly think that all printers have built-in security features. While it’s true some modern printers do offer these features, not all do. And even those with built-in security measures aren’t immune to attacks if they aren’t properly configured and updated regularly.

You might hear people say, “My printed documents are safe once they’re shredded.” Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but this isn’t always true either. Shredded documents can sometimes be pieced back together, especially if you’re using an outdated strip-shred machine rather than a cross-cut shredder.

Lastly, there’s this idea floating around that “printers can’t be hacked.” Unfortunately, this is another big myth. Printers are connected devices and can indeed be targeted by cybercriminals. According to HP, 64% of IT managers state their printers are likely infected with malware.

So there you have it – five common myths about print security debunked! Remember, when it comes to protecting your data, there’s no room for misconceptions or half-truths.

The Realities of Print Security Threats

Let’s dive right into the heart of print security threats. It’s a common misconception that printers are immune to cyber threats, which couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, unsecured printers can serve as an open door for hackers to infiltrate your network.

There’s been a significant rise in printer-related data breaches over the years. According to Quocirca’s Global Print Security Landscape Report 2019, 60% of businesses reported suffering a print-related data breach within the past year. That’s not all – these breaches have cost companies an average of $400,000 each!

Year Percentage of Businesses Reporting Print-Related Data Breaches
2018 59%
2019 60%

Most people overlook this threat because they believe that printers only output information, not input it. But modern printers are more like computers – they have hard drives, run operating systems and even connect to the internet. This makes them just as vulnerable as any other device on your network.

Another myth is that small businesses aren’t targeted by hackers. The truth is that no business is too small for a cyber attack. Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report states that 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses.

Finally, many assume that IT departments handle all aspects of print security. While it’s true that IT plays a major role, everyone in an organization has a part to play in maintaining security. For instance:

  • Employees should be trained to recognize phishing attempts.
  • Everyone should know how to create strong passwords.
  • Users must understand the importance of regularly updating software.

In short, don’t underestimate the risks associated with print security. It’s not just about protecting physical documents anymore – digital threats pose an equally grave danger.

Best Practices for Enhancing Print Security

Print security is often overlooked, but it’s just as critical as any other aspect of your IT infrastructure. I’m here to debunk some common myths and provide you with the best practices for bolstering your print security.

Firstly, let’s talk about user authentication. It’s essential to ensure only authorized personnel have access to your printing devices. Implementing a simple PIN or ID card system can add an extra layer of protection and prevent unauthorized usage.

Secondly, consider encrypting your print jobs. When data travels from your computer to the printer, it’s vulnerable to interception. Encryption makes sure that even if someone does manage to intercept the data, they won’t be able to decipher it.

Let’s not forget about physical security either. Keep printers in a secure location where they can be monitored. This will deter potential thieves and also help you keep track of who’s using the device.

Lastly, remember that old printed documents can pose a risk if not disposed of properly. Shredding sensitive documents is a must-do practice in maintaining print security.

Here are few key points summarized:

  • User Authentication: Implement PIN or ID card systems.
  • Encrypt Print Jobs: Protect data from interception.
  • Physical Security: Monitor printer locations.
  • Proper Disposal: Shred sensitive documents after use.

Remember, taking these steps doesn’t just protect your business from external threats – it also helps safeguard against internal risks too. So don’t wait until it’s too late; start enhancing your print security today!


After debunking these myths about print security, it’s clear that many organizations have misconceptions. Myths can lead to complacency and a lack of proper measures in place, leaving your sensitive data vulnerable.

The truth is, printers are no different from any other networked device. They’re susceptible to the same risks and require the same rigorous attention to security. It’s not just about securing the physical printer anymore; it’s also about ensuring the digital data remains safe.

Let’s remember:

  • Printers need as much protection as computers or servers.
  • Wireless printing isn’t inherently insecure if done right.
  • Modern printers do have built-in security features but they’re not foolproof.
  • Deleting files from your computer doesn’t mean they’re gone from your printer’s memory.

I hope this article has shed some light on these common myths and helped you understand why print security should be a priority for every organization. As we move towards an increasingly digital world, let’s not forget our humble printers – they too need a solid line of defense against potential threats.

Fabrice Arnoux