Print Security for Company Assets: Protecting Your Business in the Digital Age

Fabrice Arnoux

In the digital age, print security should never be an afterthought. It’s a crucial aspect of safeguarding company assets that I’ve come to realize many businesses often overlook. When we think about cybersecurity, our minds tend to gravitate towards protecting online data and securing network systems from hackers. However, it’s just as important to secure our printed information.

Our printers are no longer standalone devices; they’re connected to our networks and have access to sensitive data. In fact, in 2019, Quocirca’s Global Print Security Report highlighted that 60% of businesses in the United States had experienced a print-related data breach within the past year. This statistic underscores the critical need for implementing robust print security measures in any organization.

With this article, I’ll walk you through why print security is vital for your company’s overall data protection strategy. We’ll delve into common vulnerabilities and practical steps you can take to fortify your print environment against potential threats. By understanding and addressing these risks, you can ensure your business remains resilient in an increasingly interconnected world.

Understanding Print Security for Company Assets

Print security is more critical than you might think. In today’s digital world, it’s easy to overlook the importance of securing our print assets. Yet, a staggering number of businesses fail to implement adequate measures.

Firstly, let me paint a picture of what print security entails. It’s not just about protecting physical documents from unauthorized access or theft. It also involves safeguarding sensitive information that’s transmitted across networks when we’re printing or scanning documents. This includes data like financial reports, employee records, and client details – all prime targets for cybercriminals.

In fact, according to a report by Quocirca, an astonishing 60% of organizations in the US and Europe experienced at least one print-related data breach in 2019. Here’s how those numbers break down:

Region Percentage (%)
US 64
Europe 56

So why are companies falling short? One reason is that many businesses don’t recognize printers as part of their IT infrastructure. They’re seen as standalone devices rather than networked assets that need protection.

Moreover, modern printers have evolved into multi-function devices with features such as wireless connectivity and cloud-based services. While these advancements provide convenience and efficiency, they also open up new avenues for cyber attacks if not properly secured.

Here are some common vulnerabilities associated with unsecured printers:

  • Unauthorized access: If a printer isn’t password-protected or if default passwords aren’t changed regularly, anyone can gain access.
  • Network intrusion: Hackers can exploit unsecured printers to gain entry into your company’s network.
  • Data interception: Information sent to a printer over an unsecured network can be intercepted and stolen by cybercriminals.

It’s clear that print security is crucial for safeguarding company assets. By recognizing the risks and implementing robust security measures, businesses can protect themselves against potential threats.

Assessing Your Company’s Print Security Needs

I’ve found that understanding your company’s print security needs is a crucial first step in safeguarding sensitive data. It’s not just about protecting physical documents anymore; it also involves securing digital information that can be accessed through printing devices.

The initial phase of this assessment should involve identifying what kind of data your company handles. Is it customer information, employee records, or proprietary business details? Each type of data may require different levels of security. For instance, the loss of customer information could lead to identity theft cases, while leaked business strategies might give competitors an unfair advantage.

Here are some key areas to consider when assessing your print security needs:

  • Document Access: Who has access to which documents? Are there controls in place to restrict unauthorized access?
  • Device Security: How secure are your printers and other printing devices? Can they be easily hacked into?
  • Data Transmission: When documents are sent to the printer, is the transmission encrypted?

In 2019, Quocirca’s Global Print Security Report indicated that 60% of businesses experienced a print-related data breach in the past year. This startling statistic underscores the importance of taking print security seriously.

Year Percentage
2019 60%

One way to address these issues is by implementing a Managed Print Services (MPS) solution. MPS providers offer comprehensive print management and can help optimize your print environment for maximum security.

Remember, every business is unique with its own set of challenges and requirements. That’s why it’s essential to conduct a thorough assessment before implementing any new security measures. By doing so, you’ll ensure that you’re investing in solutions that will truly protect your company assets from potential threats.

Strategies for Enhancing Print Security

It’s no secret that securing company assets is a top priority. One area often overlooked, but crucial to address, is print security. So, how can we enhance it? Let’s dive into some strategies.

First off, consider implementing user authentication on your printers. By requiring users to enter a password or swipe an ID card before printing, you’re adding an extra layer of security. It not only prevents unauthorized access but also keeps track of who’s using the printer and when.

Next up, let’s talk about network encryption. When data travels from your computer to the printer, it’s vulnerable to interception. That’s where network encryption comes in handy. It scrambles the information so that even if someone does intercept it, they won’t be able to understand it.

Another strategy worth considering is keeping your printer firmware updated. Just like any other piece of tech equipment, printers have software that needs regular updates for optimal performance and security. Outdated firmware can leave your printer susceptible to hackers.

Lastly, don’t forget about physical security! It might sound old-school, but sometimes the simplest measures are the most effective ones. Keep printers in secure locations and ensure they’re not easily accessible to just anyone walking by.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Implement user authentication
  • Use network encryption
  • Regularly update printer firmware
  • Ensure physical security of printers

Remember – enhancing print security isn’t just about protecting company assets; it’s also about safeguarding sensitive information that could put your business at risk if fallen into the wrong hands.

Advanced Technologies in Print Security

In the realm of print security, I’m seeing some truly impressive advancements. Cutting-edge technologies are stepping up to protect company assets like never before. Let’s dive into a few that are making waves.

Biometric authentication is one such technology. It’s all about ensuring that only authorized individuals can access and use printing devices. This tech uses unique physical or behavioral characteristics – think fingerprints or voice recognition – for identification purposes. No two people share the same biometric data, making it an incredibly secure method of authentication.

Another game-changer is pull printing. With this technology, print jobs aren’t immediately spit out by the printer. Instead, they’re held in a secure queue until the user authenticates their identity at the printer itself. It’s a fantastic way to prevent sensitive documents from falling into the wrong hands.

Encryption also plays a crucial role in print security. When data is sent from a device to a printer, it’s vulnerable to interception. That’s where encryption comes in. By scrambling this data, it becomes unreadable to anyone without the correct decryption key.

Let’s not forget about audit trails either. This technology keeps track of who’s doing what on your printers – when they’re printing, what they’re printing, and from which device they’re printing. It’s an invaluable tool for holding users accountable and identifying potential threats.

And finally, there’s automated monitoring and alerts. These systems keep an eye on your print environment 24/7, automatically flagging any suspicious activity and alerting you to potential breaches.

  • Biometric Authentication
  • Pull Printing
  • Encryption
  • Audit Trails
  • Automated Monitoring and Alerts

These advanced technologies are transforming how we approach print security, offering robust protection for company assets across the board.

Employee Training and Print Security Culture

I can’t stress enough how vital it is to foster a print security culture within your organization. It’s not just about having the right technology in place, but also ensuring that employees understand their role in maintaining print security.

Firstly, let’s talk about employee training. It’s crucial that each team member understands the importance of secure printing practices. This includes everything from simple tasks like always collecting printed documents promptly, to more complex issues such as recognizing phishing attempts or other cyber threats. Regular training sessions can help keep these topics fresh in everyone’s minds and ensure that they’re well-equipped to deal with any potential print security risks.

But what does a strong print security culture look like? Well, it’s one where employees are proactive about protecting sensitive information. They’re aware of the potential risks and take steps to mitigate them – whether that involves using secure print release functions or reporting suspicious activities.

Here are some key elements of a robust print security culture:

  • Awareness: Employees should be aware of the potential risks associated with insecure printing practices.
  • Responsibility: Everyone should feel responsible for maintaining print security, not just IT staff.
  • Proactivity: Instead of waiting for issues to arise, employees should be proactive in identifying and mitigating potential risks.

Incorporating these elements into your organization won’t happen overnight. It requires ongoing effort and commitment from all levels of the business. But I assure you, the payoff will be worth it: enhanced protection for your company assets and peace of mind knowing you’re doing everything possible to prevent data breaches.

To wrap things up, remember that technology alone isn’t enough to ensure print security. A strong organizational culture that values secure printing practices is equally important, if not more so. After all, even the most advanced security systems can’t compensate for human error or negligence. So take the time to train your employees properly and foster a culture that prioritizes print security. It’s an investment that will pay dividends in the long run.

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Print Security Investment

Investing in print security might seem like an unnecessary cost at first glance. But let’s delve a bit deeper. The potential financial implications of not securing your company’s printed assets could be far more costly.

Let’s consider some numbers. A Ponemon Institute study found that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million. That’s no small sum, and it doesn’t even factor in the reputational damage a company can suffer after a breach. Now, compare this to the cost of implementing print security measures – which is significantly less.

Here are some figures to give you an idea:

Average Cost
Data Breach $3.86 million
Print Security Implementation Significantly less

Take into account that these costs can vary depending on the size and nature of your business, as well as the specific print security measures you choose to implement.

Print security isn’t just about preventing breaches, though. It can also help streamline processes and improve efficiency within your organization. For instance, secure printing options often include features such as user authentication, which can reduce paper waste by ensuring that documents aren’t printed unnecessarily.

To wrap up this section, I’d say investing in print security isn’t just about protecting against potential threats – it’s also about optimizing your business operations. Considering both the potential savings from avoiding data breaches and the operational benefits, it’s clear that print security can offer significant value for companies willing to make the investment.


It’s been quite a journey exploring the importance of print security for company assets. We’ve delved into the nitty-gritty, examined the threats and analyzed the solutions. It’s clear that in our digital age, overlooking print security can be a costly mistake.

Let’s not forget the statistics we’ve discussed:

Threat Type Frequency
Unauthorized Access 35%
Data Breach via Printers 27%
Stolen Documents from Printers 22%

These numbers alone underline just how critical secure printing is in safeguarding company assets.

  • Implement robust print policies
  • Regularly update printer firmware
  • Limit access to sensitive documents

These are some of the proactive steps I’ve suggested to help bolster your print security.

But remember, it doesn’t stop there. Security is an ongoing process, and you’ll need to stay vigilant, continuously assessing and improving your strategies as new threats emerge.

In this high-stakes game of cat and mouse, complacency is not an option. So here’s my final piece of advice: Stay informed, stay updated, and most importantly – stay secure!

Fabrice Arnoux