Secure printing authentication protects sensitive data and company networks October 18th, 2018

Secure printing authentication protects sensitive data and company networks

Measures for efficient management of access to printers not only affect the bottom line, but also reduce data loss and security risks. 

Organizations spend valuable time and resources on prevention of external attacks, but often fail to protect multi-function printers (MFPs) from potential security leaks. By securing access to MFPs and networked copiers using badge readers, companies can now easily manage sensitive data and track usage by employees. As the front-end of a secure printing solution, employee badge readers are easy to deploy. 

Easily validate authorizations

Printing management is secure if the user needs to provide his or her credentials before printing.

Where organization already use employee badges to access doors and restricted areas, it is easy to use the same badge to provide authentication and access to printers as well. The badge reader emulates a keyboard and passes the badge ID and/or site code to the backend network for authentication. The information is instantaneously provided to and then validated by the company’s employee database, Active Directory or Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). 

Protect important information

Printer data breaches via an unsecured printer, copier or MFP on the network are common, with 63% of businesses reporting that they have experienced this type of data breach before (survey by security Group). Moreover, without proper control at the printer, unauthorized access to MFP functions can occur. A secure printing software solution that incorporates a badge reader captures not only the ID of the employee accessing the printer, but also the time, location and source of the printing request. 

Secure solutions, known as pull-print, also ensure that confidential documents are not printed and left in the output tray until the person waves his/her badge at the reader connected to the printer. With a badge reader solution for authentication, organizations can better secure information in multi-printer, multi-location configurations and minimize data breach risks. Likewise, networked copiers also need secure authentication, and recorded information regarding the employee accessing the printer/copier provides valuable cost center and historical information. 

Streamline printing operations

When a badge reader plus printing management software is connected to a single-user or multi-function printer, an employee simply sends a document for printing to a print queue on a print server. Where a secure pull-printing solution is used, the employee taps his/her badge on the reader at the MFP or copier. The credentials are validated, the print queue becomes available to the employee, and the document is released to be printed. 

The need for entering PIN codes, usernames, and passwords is obviated, reducing the risk of identification errors. 

BlueStar focuses on technologically leading authentication solutions and here cooperates closely with competent manufacturers such as RF IDeas. These solutions reduce the risk of sensitive data being disclosed to unauthorized persons, while they streamline printing processes and contribute to fulfilling industrial security requirements.


Samantha is BlueStar's Digital Media Specialist, and the primary contributing writer for VartechNation. Previously, she has worked as a Public Relations Associate and a Social Media Manager.