by Mark Schneider, Y Soft
As an MPS provider you have already decided that services and solutions is an area that will help you expand your business and position yourself for the direction our industry is heading. Have you considered adding print management to your offerings? Here is one good reason (out of many) to consider it.
When asked “What is the cost to your organization of a confidential or sensitive information getting into the wrong hands” it is not surprising that security is at or near the top of IT’s most worrisome issues. Because of recent high profile consumer data thefts, most people would think of this type of security issue. But to the IT professional, security threats can include malicious or accidental employee access to confidential or otherwise sensitive documents. Many of our customers start a conversation with us around this concern.
Companies today deploy solutions to mitigate the risk of improper access to information. They vary from simple shredding services to securing or limiting access through an electronic document management system. These are great steps to take and can help efforts in security compliance especially in industries where financial, medical or other personal information is gathered.
However, an important step often overlooked is access to the MFD. A document left at the printer for any amount of time is a potential breach; consider a disgruntled employee who picks up a financial document or plans about an upcoming layoff.
Then consider scanning or copying of paper documents. Scanning and copying of documents also pose a risk. Who is scanning and copying and what documents are involved?
Securing access to these devices from unauthorized users is a first step in print management. Securing access can be accomplished by having users authenticate themselves either with a swipe of their company-issued badge or entry of their username/password, a PIN or any combination of the three entry methods. This ensures that access is given only to authorized users; administrators can even limit the times of day the print/copy/scan functions are enabled or which employees can print but cannot scan for instance.
This does not alleviate the problem of users who don’t pick up their print jobs in a timely manner or print jobs accidentally picked up by others. However, print management solutions today can solve for these security risks with pull printing or what we call print roaming. Print roaming means the user sends a print job to any printer from his workstation or mobile device as usual. However, the job does not print until the user goes to the printer and authenticates himself. At that time, the job can print immediately, or the user can select (or delete) any jobs in the print queue. The user picks up his documents immediately.
Similarly, a print management solution can provide an audit trail of scanned documents. While the workflow can allow for scans to be sent to an authorized email address or folder on a workstation (or automated to route to authorized third-party applications, print management can provide reporting that documents who scanned what (meta data about the document) and where it was scanned. For customers that require to know what has been copied, a workflow can be created that scans and stores documents before producing a copy.
For customers looking to increase security of their document assets, the three things I just described (secure access to the MFD, print roaming and scanning with an audit trail) all help your customer meet their security compliance goals.
The cost of a document in the wrong hands will vary depending on the type of information the document contains to the malicious intent of the individual who has it. Locking down a company’s document assets must be weighed with the need to do business efficiently.
The steps to increase the security of a company’s document assets with print management is possible with minimal IT intervention and impact to users. With the additional benefits of reducing costs, increasing workflow efficiencies and supporting mobile workers, a print management solution on its own or as part of an overall MPS offering makes a lot of sense for companies interested in securing their company’s document assets.
Working together with a print management solution provider, such as Y Soft, you have an additional solution to add to offering to not only expand your business but to offer additional value in an MPS solution.
Mark Schneider is the national sales manager for Y Soft, North America