Security Breaches on the Rise — The Unprotected Entry Way Your Company May Have Forgotten

A recent study by HP found that 74 percent of companies have experienced an IT threat in the past year. What's more interesting is that, according to a 2015 study by Gartner, 71 percent of breaches start from the endpoint. With this dramatic increase in security issues, it's important to understand the different types of security issues related to printing, and learn how an authentication solution at the source can help mitigate risk.

Different Types of Printing Breaches

Printing breaches can be broken into a few categories. For starters, there are intentional and unintentional breaches, both internally and externally. Intentional breaches occur when someone maliciously steals information from a printer. This can be someone taking confidential documents off a paper tray, or even installing a virus or malware into the printer to steal data or otherwise manipulate the intended functioning of the printer. Unintentional breaches occur when an individual accidently accesses information from a printer that they are not authorized to see. An example of this would be an individual picking up their print job from the paper tray and grabbing the confidential report the previous user left on the tray.

The previously mentioned HP study found that while 83 percent of respondents use network security on desktops / laptops and 55 percent on mobile devices, just 41 percent use it on printers.

How to Protect at the Source

RFID technology can provide an at-the-source authentication to the most common type of printing breach, the physical breach. Printing authentication, which can be added at the time of printer purchase, or as a form of authentication after the printer already has been purchased and installed, ensures that only the authorized user has access to jobs that are ready to be released for printing. Using an authentication technology at the printer, most commonly an RFID reader that verifies credentials via an employee badge, print jobs are held in queue until the originator releases and collects the document. This eliminates the concern of both intentional and unintentional physical breaches.

More and more companies choose to pair their authentication solution with a print output management system. An output management system adds a layer of efficiency by monitoring supply levels, usage and output metrics to ensure the best printer is used. For example, when printing a large print job, the output management system will make recommendations such as duplex printing, or printing at another printer when the selected printer is in use.

The benefits of a complete print output management system with authentication solutions include:

  • Security: Limits sensitive information getting into the wrong hands
  • Day-to-Day Cost Savings: Manages paper and toner costs, as well as maintenance costs for efficient cost-savings measures
  • Going Green: Reduces use of paper and toner
  • Flexibility: No more carrying heavy bundles of presentations across the office campus or offices across the country
  • Overall Cost Savings: Reduce the number of printers in the overall fleet


RF IDeas is a leader in secure print applications that focus on authentication. Working together with secure print partners, we provide the RFID readers that scan employee badges at the printing source, aiding in the complete secure print solution. To learn more about installing a secured print authentication solution for your organization, contact a member of our Secure Printing team.  


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