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10
Jul
2023
Printer Management Best Practices for Your Business

Printer Management Best Practices for Your Business

If you run a business, chances are you have at least one printer on your premises. While we live in an increasingly digital world, the average office worker still prints approximately 10,000 pages a year, the equivalent of $725 in printing costs¹. For larger organizations with hundreds if not thousands of employees, this can add up to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars annually¹. Keep in mind, too, that printers themselves are more advanced, specialized, and network-connected than ever before². While you may not consider your printer on par with your desktops or laptops, hackers do. According to the 2018 Global Print Security Report, 60 percent of businesses in the US, UK, France, and Germany suffered print-related data breaches that year, losing an average of $400K each³. You therefore need a solution that helps you manage your company’s printers securely and efficiently. 

Fortunately, printer management is here to help. In its simplest form, printer management – also called print management – involves managing your company’s office printers, multifunctional devices, and other print devices like label printers so that everyone in your business can access them⁴. In this article, we will highlight the best practices for printer management within your organization. 

One crucial printer management best practice is to design a print infrastructure with maximum efficiency and security in mind⁵. If you work in healthcare, for example, the last thing you need is for employees to leave paperwork unattended in printer trays, especially papers containing sensitive patient information⁵. Thankfully, managed service providers can redesign your computer’s printer-fleet layout around organizational workflows, not only streamlining your business’s printing for increased efficiency but simultaneously improving your security posture and regulatory compliance as well⁵. 

While designing the proper print infrastructure is paramount, you must also specify exactly who can print from your company’s or department’s printers⁶. For instance, in a healthcare organization handling thousands of patients’ records daily, you do not want your accounting or marketing team printing sensitive patient information on the printers in their respective departments. Therefore, restricting access to your printers is crucial⁶. Windows makes enabling this option simple: start by going to “Settings > Printers & Scanners” ⁶. Next, click your printer on the list and select “Manage” ⁶. Then, click “Printer properties” for more options⁶. Once you have done so, switch to the “Properties” window and select the “Security” tab⁶. You will now find a list of users and groups on your computer⁶. To see each user’s current printer permissions, just click on their name in the list⁶. Now, suppose you want to prevent your company’s marketing department from taking certain actions, like printing sensitive documents⁶. Select them from the list and check the “Deny” box for any field you wish to prevent⁶. This ensures that only the correct users print the correct documents from your business’s printers. 

Another best practice for effective printer management is to provide seamless experiences for remote users. Chances are you have been forced to work from home at some point during the past two-plus years due to current events, or when inclement weather makes commuting impossible. Either way, network-connected printers like the HP OfficeJet let you manage printers remotely through a convenient web interface⁶. Keep in mind, however, that although remote print management has its benefits, not everyone in your business should access it⁶. Rather, you should enable a password so that only you can access it⁶. If you are using an HP printer, for example, you can find this option on the Embedded Web Server at “Settings > Security > Password settings” ⁶. Once you have created a password, others on your network cannot make changes even if they determine your printer’s IP address⁶. This helps you ensure that you and your employees can securely print from anywhere, whether you are working from home, visiting a client’s office, or on the road. 

Still another best practice for effective printer management is to implement secure pull-printing technology². While you may still send print jobs directly to a specific printer for immediate output, this approach is flawed². For example, if you leave documents containing sensitive information like trade secrets in the printer tray, unauthorized parties can easily steal this information. With secure pull-printing, however, you print to a secure queue and then use your login credentials or company ID card to access your documents at any network printer². You can even opt for secure release printing, which requires authorization to release the documents, thus adding an extra security layer⁷. Any way you slice it, implementing secure pull-printing is key for more effective printer management. 

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(Image courtesy of https://www.uniprint.net/en/pull-printing-high-availability/)  

Finally, you must not overlook the importance of additional security features like firewalls. Chances are your printer is connected to the company network, and if so, you must install firewalls on your computer or router to prevent unauthorized users from accessing it². You should also update your firmware often, so that you do not fall victim to any security flaws your manufacturer has reported². In short, enhanced printer security reaps greater benefits for your organization. 

If you need to manage your company’s printers more securely and effectively, navitend can help. We offer a variety of printer management solutions for clients throughout New Jersey, New York, and eastern Pennsylvania. Using our traditional network management tools, you can grant printer access to specific users within your company based on their roles. For example, you can ensure that only your marketing employees can utilize the printers in your marketing department. Meanwhile, if you do not have a centralized print server, we also offer cloud-based printer management solutions. Our top priority is keeping your printers and networks secure for reliable and predictably awesome business printing experiences every time. 

Navitend can help you. Call 973.448.0070 or setup an appointment today. 

Sources: 

¹imageOne. “Three Printing Stats That Are Terrifying to Your IT Budget” by Brad Foster. Retrieved from https://www.imageoneway.com/blog/three-printing-stats-that-are-terrifying-to-your-it-budget. 

²Entrepreneur. “Why Your Innocent Office Printer May Be a Target for Hackers” by Kevin Pickhardt. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/science-technology/why-your-innocent-office-printer-may-be-a-target-for-hackers/308273. 

³Small Business Trends. “Beware! 60% of Businesses Lose Their Data Through Printer Security Breaches” by Michael Guta. Retrieved from https://smallbiztrends.com/2019/02/printer-security-breach.html#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Global%20Print%20Security%20Report%2C%2060%25,costs%20companies%20an%20average%20of%20more%20than%20%24400K. 

⁴Ricoh USA, Inc. “What is print management?” Retrieved from https://www.ricoh-usa.com/en/insights/articles/print-management.  

⁵Samsung. “5 Best Practices for Managed Print Services in Healthcare” by Samsung for Business. Retrieved from https://insights.samsung.com/2016/01/25/5-best-practices-for-managed-print-services-in-healthcare/.  

⁶MakeUseOf. “7 Essential Ways to Secure Your Printer” by Ben Stegner. Retrieved from https://www.makeuseof.com/essential-ways-secure-printer/.  

⁷Plus Technologies LLC. “Pull Printing Solution Benefits.” Retrieved from https://www.plustechnologies.com/post/pull-printing-solution-benefits/.  

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