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Streamline Efficiency and Security with Pull Printing
As we continue our celebration of Cybersecurity Awareness Month and its 20th anniversary, remember that rather than having one theme for 2023, instead all month long the focus is on four key behaviors: 1) enabling multi-factor authentication, 2) using strong passwords and a password manager, 3) updating software, and 4) recognizing and reporting phishing. As a print provider, we often see that printers, multifunction printers, and copiers in the workplace are overlooked as a threat to security. Honing in on the behaviors of enabling authentication and using passwords, in today’s blog we are going to focus on pull printing and how it can streamline efficiency and more importantly, security within your organization.
Pull printing revolutionizes the way we manage print jobs, enhancing both workflow efficiency and data security. Keep reading below as we delve into what pull printing is and explore the benefits it offers to businesses and organizations of all sizes.
What is Pull Printing?
Pull printing is a printing strategy that flips the traditional print paradigm on its head. Also known by a myriad of other names including follow-me printing, secure release printing, badge printing, and push printing, pull printing is essentially a program that enables users to print to a single print queue and collect their print job from any device. Instead of sending a print job directly to a specific printer and physically retrieving it, users send their print jobs to a central print queue, and the actual printing occurs only when the user is physically present at a chosen printer, multifunction printer, or copier, and release the job through a method of authentication.
Because the user must use authentication to release the job, this adds an additional layer of security and control to the printing process. Pull printing also simplifies and adds efficiency to workplace printing by minimizing wasteful printing and reducing costs related to print supplies/consumables.
There are multiple ways in which organizations can choose to have their users authenticate their identity at the printer in order to release the print job. These authentication methods include:
An ID card, badge, or fob
Username and password
Additionally, it’s possible to also configure multi-factor authentication or two-factor authentication (2FA) for an added layer of protection and security. This requires the user to verify their identity using two forms of identification.
The Benefits of Pull Printing
By implementing pull printing into your organization’s print processes, printing goes from a frustrating experience to a simple, streamlined, and secure workflow. Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits that pull printing offers:
1. Enhanced Security
With the rise of cyber threats and data breaches, security is a primary concern for any organization. Pull printing significantly enhances document security by requiring users to authenticate themselves at the printer before their documents are printed. This eliminates the risk of sensitive information being left unattended at the printer tray, preventing unauthorized access, whether by intention or by mistake.
2. Confidentiality and Compliance
Organizations dealing with personal identifiable information (PII), such as legal firms, healthcare providers, education institutions, and financial institutions, can benefit immensely from pull printing. By preventing documents from being printed until the user is present, the chances of confidential information falling into the wrong hands are drastically reduced. This aligns with compliance regulations, such as HIPAA or GDPR, which mandate strict data protection and privacy measures.
3. Cost Savings
Pull printing can lead to substantial cost savings. Unclaimed print jobs often result in wasted paper, toner, and other print-related resources. With pull printing, unnecessary printouts are minimized, reducing waste and contributing to an environmentally friendly printing approach.
4. Streamlined Print Workflow
Pull printing introduces a level of flexibility and convenience to printing workflows. Users can send print jobs from their workstations and choose when and where to release the printouts. This eliminates the need to wait in line for a specific printer or rush to collect documents immediately after printing, leading to improved time management and productivity.
5. Mobile/Remote Printing
In the era of remote work and mobile devices, pull printing offers the advantage of printing flexibility. Users can send print jobs from their laptops, tablets, or smartphones, and release them when they’re back at the office or near a designated printer. This convenience accommodates the evolving work landscape and enhances overall productivity.
6. Reduced Print Frustration
Traditional printing methods can often lead to congested print queues, causing delays and frustration. Pull printing reduces this congestion by allowing users to release their print jobs at their convenience, distributing the printing load more evenly across available devices.
7. Audit Trail and Tracking
Pull printing solutions often come with built-in tracking and reporting features. This provides administrators with valuable insights into printing patterns, usage, and trends. With detailed information on who printed what and when, organizations can optimize their printing resources and implement cost-effective measures.
Get Started with Pull Printing Today
Pull printing represents a significant leap forward in printing efficiency and security. By introducing a user authentication step before printing, organizations can enjoy enhanced data protection, streamlined workflows, and cost savings. As businesses continue to evolve and adapt to changing work environments, pull printing offers a versatile solution that meets the demands of modern-day operations while prioritizing security and efficiency.
There are various print management solutions out there to enable organizations to implement pull printing into their workplace print strategy. Let the team at Parmetech help you find the right one for your business! As an award-winning managed print services partner and print provider, we work with organizations of all sizes across many industries to find the right print solutions for their business. Give us a call today at (800) 727-6383, email us at email@example.com, or connect with us via our website to get start a conversation today about your print needs and pull printing!