Security Printing: Does Your Business Need Additional Protection?

security

There are few things more disastrous for a business than losing or misusing sensitive data. While organisations that handle sensitive data invest in firewalls, encryption, and secure back-ups, many fail to secure their printers.

63% of businesses admit that they have experienced at least one print-related data breach (Quocirca), but less than a quarter have implemented security procedures when printing or improved their systems as a result.

Printing as a Security Risk

Unsecured printers and MFDs provide unfettered access to sensitive data and if your organisation routinely handles this information it can be difficult to track how often you print it. Printers are often in communal areas, so unclaimed output is very easily exposed without any major negligence on behalf of your employees – they simply need to be delayed on the way to the printer and the information is lying in the office for anybody to pick up.

Closing the Security Gap

Secure printing is incredibly easy to set up and simple to maintain. ‘Pull printing’ ensures that print jobs are only released when they are authenticated by the original printer – this can be done through PIN codes, smart cards, or even biometric fingerprint recognition. Unclaimed documents will never be printed, so the information cannot go missing or fall into the wrong hands.

In addition to standard authentication, your organisation could set up:

  • Network authentication, which integrates with existing network credentials
  • Job accounting, which helps document regulatory compliance
  • Intelligent print management, which creates rules-based permissions – this could prevent printing altogether for extremely sensitive documents

Ongoing Security Audits

Most of our security printing options include the facilities to conduct regular print audits for your administrators to track print jobs, photocopies, and scans. You can easily check on how each user is using your print facilities to identify patterns of misuse or waste. In the unlikely event that there is a print-related security breach, it is easy to trace the source and improve your processes further.

An Investment in Security

The European Commission may begin fining businesses up to 5% of their annual turnover for data leaks if there is clear negligence – your business cannot afford to be complacent about security or the issues within your print processes. Using intelligent processes and reinforced authentication will ensure that your organisation does not have to pay hefty fines or risk the professional embarrassment of losing data.

Additional Benefits

While security is the primary concern, setting up secure print systems has other benefits; reducing paper wastage through unclaimed jobs can reduce your spend on consumables, while increased mobility provides your employees with additional flexibility.

Do You Need a Secure Printing System?

You may require a secure system if:

  • You are legally required to keep information confidential
  • Your compliance processes require information to be kept secure
  • Your business routinely handles secure information
  • Your printer is in a communal area that is accessible to more than just your own employees
  • A department in your business handles sensitive information but does not have their own print facilities

If you would like to discuss your needs further, please get in touch.

How Much Printing Can You Do In-House?

London office printer

While Digital Marketing is slowly overtaking print, particularly for SMEs, over 90% of SMEs still use printed media as part of their marketing. Due to the high quality requirements, most of this is printed externally – updating leaflets, printing new posters, and renewing business cards can be very costly, especially if you have to throw away existing stock and update it frequently.

While large scale printing will almost always need to   be done externally, you could reduce your marketing budgets by bringing some of the smaller printing jobs in-house. Mailshots and leaflets can certainly be printed in-house if you have a suitable printer in the office. If you would like to take this approach, you can use a number of different printers to keep costs down for every day printing while using another machine for your marketing.

Choosing the Right Printer

If you would like to take more of your printing in-house to save money, you just need to make sure that your printer is suitable for the work. It’s also essential that you assess your print spending to find out how long it will take for you to break even on the investment. You may be surprised – external printing can be extremely costly so it may take less time than you think.

Laser printers are usually recommended for marketing materials as they deliver crisper results. They are usually more expensive than Inkjet printers simply because of the technology and materials required to make them, but the running costs are far cheaper and they ultimately use less consumables for colour images. Laser toner also lasts longer than ink, so you can print per pages per cartridge.

Multi-Functional Devices (MFDs) combine photocopiers, printers, and scanners and are ideal for office environments. Many models also have a range of finishing options such as duplexing, stapling, holepunching, offset modes and booklet creation. This means that you could even print your own brochures, given the right device and paper.

Making the Most of Your Marketing Budget

As the marketing world changes it’s important to make the most of your money. The majority of businesses still use print marketing in some way, if only for leaflets and business cards. Bringing those print jobs in house can help you reduce your spend and allocate the savings elsewhere.

 

5 Ways to Cut Down on Photocopying Costs

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Regardless of your industry, photocopying and printing are key business expenses and the processes are key to ensuring that you can continue working. Whether you’re printing schedules, contracts, proofreading work, or creating marketing materials it’s likely that you would like to cut down the costs. As a business grows, these expenses only grow, so implementing money saving ideas now can help you expand your business without massively increasing print costs.

1) Use a Multi- Functional Device

Using an MFD can cut down on running costs and reduce the amount of space you need for your print system. It also reduces your energy consumption and operational costs, as well as cutting down on the amount that you need to buy.

2) Encourage Staff to Use the Scanner

Instead of photocopying documents, encourage your staff to scan and email items as much as possible. This way, they can still share information but it cuts down on the amount of paper and consumables. It also means that you have less clutter in the office and reduce your impact on the environment.

3) Print on Both Sides

It’s such a simple solution but it’s incredibly effective – using the duplex option on your machine will ensure that you print on both sides of the paper. Saving money on paper can drastically reduce your print costs as this spend makes up a large proportion of your consumable costs.

4) Print Instead of Photocopying

Your print system should show you what documents have been copied. Review these regularly to see whether they are continually copied and need to be distributed to everybody. If that’s the case, it’s actually cheaper to print the documents instead of photocopying them. This can reduce your ink usage and improve the quality of the copies.

5) Go Paperless

Offices traditionally like to have paper copies of documents to file away. Going paperless can seem strange, but scanning and filing documents electronically means you reduce printing costs and need less storage in your office. If you prefer  to store additional copies for added security, you can use Cloud storage instead of needing physical cabinets in the office.

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