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Managing Printing Proactively: Securing Information & Preventing Data Loss

In the realm of information security, certain aspects such as network security, data encryption, and access controls are often vigorously managed due to their criticality in safeguarding information.

However, printing environments—an integral part of business operations—frequently escape the stringent scrutiny applied to other information systems. This oversight can lead to significant security vulnerabilities which can impact the confidentiality, integrity and availability of business-critical and staff and customer’s personal information.

Incorporating advanced managed print solutions like FollowMe Printing can profoundly enhance the security posture of organizations, helping align them with international and regional regulatory standards such as ISO 27001:2023, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), UK and European General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The Overlooked Gateway: Printing Security

Single-function printers, multi-function printers and scanners often can be the weakest link in the security chain, providing an open gateway to sensitive information leakage. Documents left unattended on unmanaged and unsecured desktop or network workgroup printers, is a prime example of potential security breaches waiting to happen. Solutions that manage the document output environment, such as FollowMe, address such vulnerabilities by ensuring that documents are released only to authenticated users and by managing the document lifecycle from creation to deletion, and that devices cannot be used until authenticated.

Aligning Printing with the CIA Triad

The CIA triad—Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability—is a cornerstone of information security. Here's how proactive print management aligns with these principles:

  • Confidentiality: Ensures that sensitive information is accessible only to authorized personnel. FollowMe Printing, for instance, utilizes user authentication at the device, ensuring that confidential documents are printed and collected only by authorized users, thereby preventing accidental or malicious disclosure.
  • Integrity: Maintains the accuracy and completeness of data. By controlling the print environment, organizations can prevent unauthorized changes to printed materials and ensure the integrity of the document throughout its lifecycle.
  • Availability: Ensures that information and resources are available to authorized users when needed. Effective print management includes maintaining printer operability and managing print queues efficiently, minimizing downtime and ensuring availability.

Compliance with International and Regional Standards

ISO 27001

ISO 27001 is an international standard for information security management. It requires organizations to assess risk and implement appropriate controls to mitigate them. Managed print services (MPS) play a critical role here by ensuring that print environments are secure, thus helping organizations meet ISO 27001 requirements. FollowMe Printing, for example, contributes by providing secure authentication, transmission, and storage of print jobs.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)

SOX mandates the protection of financial data. MPS addresses SOX compliance by providing detailed audit trails for print jobs, thereby ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of financial documents.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR imposes strict rules on the handling of personal data of EU citizens. MPS solutions like FollowMe Printing ensures that printed personal data is handled securely, with access controls and data processing logs that aid in compliance and protect against data breaches.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

For healthcare organizations, HIPAA requires the safeguarding of Protected Health Information (PHI). FollowMe Printing helps these organizations comply by securing print jobs, maintaining detailed logs, and ensuring that PHI is not accidentally exposed on print devices.

Importance of Audit Trails and Monitoring

Audit trails are vital as they provide a record of who accessed what information and when. This not only helps in detecting potential security incidents but also in preventing them. FollowMe Printing includes comprehensive logging of all print activities, which is crucial for forensic analysis and compliance audits.

Monitoring print jobs and usage not only helps in maintaining security but also aids organizations in optimizing their print infrastructure, thus reducing costs and improving efficiency.

Future-Proofing Print Security

As cyber threats evolve, so too must our approaches to security. Proactive management of print environments ensures that organizations can adapt to new threats as they emerge. Technologies such as machine learning can be integrated into MPS to predict and prevent potential security breaches before they occur


While often overlooked, print management is a critical component of an organization's overall information security strategy. Solutions like FollowMe Printing not only enhance security but also ensure compliance with various international and regional standards, thereby safeguarding sensitive information across all printed materials. By proactively managing their print environments, organizations can protect themselves against potential data breaches and align their operations with best practices in information security.

Do you have any questions about your organization’s print security and compliance?


International and Regional Standards References

  1. ISO 27001:
    1. ISO/IEC 27001:2022 Information security, cybersecurity and privacy protection (Information security management systems)
    2. This page provides details about the ISO 27001 standard, including its scope, requirements, and how it helps organizations secure their information assets.
  2. Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX):
    1.  U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission – Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
    2. This section of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website outlines the SOX Act, explaining its implications for corporate governance and financial practices.
  3. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR):
    1. Official GDPR Portal
    2. This portal provides comprehensive information about GDPR, including the full text of the regulation, FAQs, and guidelines for implementation.
  4. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA):
    1. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – HIPAA for Professionals
    2. Here, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services provides resources and guidelines for understanding and complying with HIPAA, including summaries of each rule and updates on new regulatory requirements.

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