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The Security Benefits of Sharp Job Accounting II

Sharp Job Accounting II is our bespoke Output Management System for all your business printing needs. The latest version adds, amongst other features, new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance controls, as Tomasz Stefanski, Solutions and Applications Product Manager explains, making this the most secure version yet.

The printer or MFP in your office is no longer a standalone device – it’s an integral part of your business. It’s best to think of them as a vital part of your network, as when you log onto the printer you are not connecting to the device itself, but rather the server. As such, the printing process is open to potential exploitation, so should be given the same level of security scrutiny as any other part of the network.

With the arrival of GDPR data protection has come to the fore, putting more emphasis than ever into making sure that the printing solutions in your business meet all necessary directives.

The reason behind this is simple - data breaches and the mishandling of information can lead to serious fines placed on your business. To put this into context, GDPR has introduced a fine structure that can be as much as £20 million, or 4 per cent of your annual turnover, whichever is the greater.

Based on industry predications in the first year of GDPR, fines are expected to be around £122 billion in the UK. If you compare this to information released by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), you’ll see that fines served for breaking data protection laws in the UK related to £1.2m in 2014, rising to just over £2m in 2015, and £3.2m in 2016. So, making sure that data is safe is not only a security concern for businesses but also a hugely financial one.

It is not only data compliance where print security can help. If you have a large number of employees, software such as Sharp Job Accounting II can help you manage the flow of printing by holding in a secure queue on the server. In this way, there are no documents left lying around, as print jobs are only created when the user is standing at the device.

Security Benefits of Sharp Job Accounting II

Sharp Job Accounting II allows the network manager greater control of devices, as well as greater visibility to not only who is accessing and using the print network, but how.

With the latest iteration of the software, we have enhanced the security features of Job Accounting II so it can offer an even better investment, from a security perspective as well as cost-efficiency aspect, to your business.

Encryption: Encryption is a vital part of the printing process and Job Accounting II makes sure that all documents are encrypted as part of the process. When you click ‘Print’ on your laptop or PC you are not sending the document to the printer but to Output Management System, which is on the server.

When you step up to the device and log in, you are logging into the server and not the device. As a result, the job is pulled from the server and not your laptop or PC. This is all handled by Job Accounting II, so adding encryption as part of the queuing process.

Secure Access: Gone are the days of walking up to an office printer and simply using it. Today, access is granted by the IT manager, so that only authorised staff users can access the device.

Sharp Job Accounting allows for a wide range of secure methods of device access. Users can use their network user name and password as defined by their system administrator, or they can use a pin number assigned to them.

However, the most popular method of accessing the print devices for most businesses is through the use of proximity card or fob, which is also the easiest to setup and use from both an administration and user perspective. This card is associated with your user account, so administration can link the card with your credentials in Windows. When you go to the device, there is a special card reader so that when you swipe your card you have access to the device.

Pull Printing: There was a time when clicking print from your laptop or PC would create the print job. However, in these more secure times, your print job sits on the secure server until you step up to the device and log on.

There are different names for this technology, you may also know it as Follow-me printing, as the print jobs follow you to a printer, but we at Sharp prefer the term Pull Printing, as you are effectively pulling the print job from the global queue.

The benefit of this approach is that potential prying eyes won’t see what you have printed, but it also frees up the user to use any printing device within the business. Once you have access to the server you can use any printer within the building. So, it doesn’t matter whether you are on the first floor or the fifth floor.

Rules: Along with managing the network, it is the role of IT administrator to control access and use of printers and copiers. This can be handled in Job Accounting II using Rules, which can set up everything from defining which users have access to which devices, to the level of print control, such as defining which users can use colour printing, for example.

From a security aspect, the Admin or business owner can set up a print policy. For example, if a print job is in the secure queue for longer than 24 hours, it will be automatically deleted. By no longer being in the queue the network is no longer storing encrypted data. The added benefit of such policies is that it keeps the network traffic flow free from unnecessary usage.

Tracking: Monitoring who is using which printers and when may at first glance seem to be more about managing running costs, but tracking usage is also important from a security aspect, as you can see which devices are used, when and by whom, so you can see which points on the server are potential weak-points.

Tracking allows you to create reports, either on a regular basis, such as monthly or quarterly, or in an ad hoc situation, when you need to show management or check financial numbers.

User Redaction: A new feature in Job Accounting II is user Redaction and is particularly important in regards to GDPR and other compliance issues. GDPR allows for employees leaving a business to request effectively being forgotten. This means that their personal data will no longer be held on file.

As a result, if you are generating reports you can redact specific user details. When generating a report in Job Accounting II you can remove everything associated with a former employees personal data, so names will no longer be mentioned but you can use the system to report usage by ‘deleted users’.

In this way you can still track what has been used for usage, billing, or audit trail purposes, but you won’t be able to see specific personal data on these people.

While for many Output Management Systems are about managing and monitoring the cost-effectiveness of your print solution, but at Sharp we believe that security, along with efficiency should go hand-in-hand. If you would like to know more about Sharp Job Accounting II and our other Optimised Software Solutions, then Get In Touch


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