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The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) wave has swept across countless industries, empowering employees with the flexibility to work from their preferred devices. But what about printing? Allowing personal devices to access company printers opens doors to convenience and productivity, but also raises security concerns for business owners and IT managers.

Let’s look at the benefits and risks of BYOD for printing, with insights from members of the Mopria Alliance on building a secure BYOD printing strategy.

The BYOD Printing Dilemma:

On one hand, BYOD for printing offers advantages like:

  • Increased agility: Employees can print on the go from their mobile device or PC, boosting productivity and responsiveness.
  • Reduced costs: Companies can save on device purchases and maintenance.
  • Enhanced employee satisfaction: Flexibility fosters a more empowered and engaged workforce.

However, security risks loom large:

  • Data breaches: Sensitive documents could be printed from unsecured devices, leading to leaks.
  • Malware infiltration: Infected personal devices can compromise the network and company data.
  • Unauthorized access: Uncontrolled printing can increase costs and waste resources.

Mopria: Unlocking Secure BYOD Printing:

The Mopria Alliance champions secure and seamless printing across a variety of devices. Here’s how Mopria technology helps to achieve secure BYOD printing:

  1. Universal compatibility: Mopria certified printers and the Mopria Print Service app work with most devices, promoting universal standards and reducing security vulnerabilities.
  2. Secure connections: Mopria prioritizes data security with optional features accessible from the Mopria Print Service app like requiring an SSL connection or PIN printing, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access.
  3. Advanced features: Admins use Mopria Print Service to define default print settings in line with printing and security policies.
  4. Streamlined management: IT admins can leverage centralized management tools with Mopria Print Service to control access, track print jobs, and set policies for BYOD devices.

Now, let’s hear from printing experts and members of the Mopria Alliance with their insights on how to implement secure BYOD printing:

Michael St. Laurent, Print Software and Consumer Services Chief Architect, HP

“While BYOD can offer many benefits, such as flexibility and cost savings, it also poses some challenges, especially for printing. Having a clear and consistent policy for print is key to ensuring security and privacy:

  • Integrating with company identity and access management can help ensure that only authorized users can access your printers and documents and that they use secure authentication methods. This can also simplify the user experience by applying a consistent approach including print.
  • Using a consistent approach to access printers and documents can help avoid compatibility issues and streamline the printing process. By using a common approach, employees can print from any device, anywhere, and at any time, without compromising quality or functionality.
  • Aligning with policies around data privacy can help protect confidential and sensitive information from unauthorized access. By encrypting your data end to end and enforcing access controls printing can comply with data privacy regulations and prevent data breaches.

By defining a clear BYOD policy for printing, you can leverage the advantages of BYOD while minimizing the risks.  Mopria and its industry-adopted standard approach is a key foundation enabling this consistent approach for print.”

Dilinur Wushour, President, Kyocera Document Solutions Development America, Inc.

“Utilizing print management tools can be instrumental in effectively managing printing in a BYOD environment while addressing security concerns.

  • Integrate print management tools that support mobile printing. Look for solutions that offer features like authentication, encryption, and integration with mobile operating systems.
  • Implement role-based access control to restrict users’ printing privileges based on their roles and responsibilities within the organization. It ensures that users only have access to the printing resources necessary for their job functions, reducing the risk of unauthorized printing.
  • Enable secure printing features such as “pull printing” or “follow-me printing.” With these features, users can release their print jobs at the printer by authenticating themselves, preventing sensitive documents from being left unattended in the output tray.
  • Implement logging and auditing capabilities to track printing activities across the network. This allows administrators to monitor usage patterns, identify anomalies, and investigate security incidents if necessary.
  • Ensure that print management solution complies with relevant industry regulations and standards, such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI DSS.”

Eric McCann, Manager, Technology Portfolio Architect, Lexmark

“By leveraging the latest in network standards and certified products, you get a level of security by default. BYOD continues to challenge this approach due to the variety of software versions, personal access controls, and an evolving application infrastructure.

One thing we recommend is to always supplement any good technology with an even better policy. By implementing the proper document protection rules such as document access restrictions, document destruction policies, and general access limitations, you can prevent the scope of exposure.

Another effective way to manage BYOD and compliance is to treat the devices as untrusted, regardless of classification. At this point, they only have the bare minimum access, and you can extend the base IT security policies to cover all paths to your network.”

With Mopria at your side and a well-defined strategy, businesses can reap the benefits of BYOD printing while mitigating security risks. Unleash the power of mobility and empower your workforce with confidence.

Ready to learn more? Visit mopria.org for more resources and to find a list of Mopria certified printers and multifunction printers.

Mopria Alliance

Author Mopria Alliance

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