Document Security: 3 Weaknesses of a Shared Printer

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A shared printer may help streamline workflows and simplify everyday tasks, but could it be undermining your document security? Here are three weaknesses of a shared printer--and how you can overcome them.

Document Security Problems at the Printer

Although document security processes should be part of everything your company does, these considerations are perhaps most important at shared printers. That's because shared devices, while great for efficiency, can sometimes cause problems like these:

#1: Unauthorized data access

Printers store a lot of data. They do this to simplify the printing process--but that attempt to help can quickly become a vulnerability. If everyone has full access to printer functions and features, your entire company could accidentally see or even make copies of sensitive information stored on the device.

#2: Document loss

Say you print a sensitive document but have to walk all the way across the building to retrieve it. In the meantime, someone else might have printed their own files and picked yours up with the pile. This kind of loss doesn't just lead to frustration and inefficiency--it's also a document security issue.

#3: Data theft

While your employees may never be guilty of this document security crime, it's important to consider it nonetheless. The truth is that, occasionally, a worker will see an abandoned document on the printer tray, recognize that it contains sensitive data, and steal it for their own purposes.

How to Improve Your Document Security

Don't say goodbye to your shared printer just yet. Instead, try these document security solutions:

  • User authentication: Sensitive documents and folders should require user authentication before they can be printed or copied. That way, no one can access your files through your shared network printer or stumble upon something they shouldn't see.

  • Access control: Employees should have different levels of printer access depending on their needs. This helps give the right users the right permissions while reducing the risk of accidental access to stored data.

  • Follow-me printing: This solution "holds" a print job until you arrive at the machine, where you're asked to enter a PIN or password to release the document. With follow-me printing in place, you don't have to worry about your sensitive document ending up in someone else's pile of paper.

In conclusion, document security needs to be part of everything you do--but it's especially important at a shared printer, where both accidental and purposeful incidents can create chaos for your business. Luckily, solutions like follow-me printing are always available to save the day.

Are you worried about document security? Need help protecting shared printers? Contact us today!