5 top tips for secure printing and GDPR compliance in your organisation.

Sharpen up your printing with our 5 top tips to check if your organisations printing practices are GDPR compliant.

All modern organisations face challenges trying to ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), especially when it comes to personal data protection.

Achieving secure printing, however, can often be overlooked in your organisations IT infrastructure. Uncollected print jobs or having data stored on unsecured print devices can leave organisations vulnerable to data losses and breaches. Organisations can take control of print security and operate GDPR printing practices by changing end-user behaviours and implementing controls. 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), introduced in 2018, brought several challenges to organisations. While the focus of GDPR is mainly on protecting online data, it also applies to how businesses work with and store the data. This means organisations need to consider what happens to the information that they capture (through scanning or electronic input), store and retain, process, share, print, copy, fax, and archive. 

Secure printing and GDPR

One aspect of GDPR that is often overlooked is printing & document security. This relates to emails, electronic files, forms, and hard copies of information. Uncollected documents left at printers could be regarded as a breach, as could un-secured recycling bins. When it comes to GDPR; your MFP could be a point of risk. 

Top tips to make your printing more secure

Print, Release, Collect

Secure pull printing should be used wherever possible to eliminate uncollected output­ at printers. Pull printing helps keep organisations compliant and reduce waste by only allowing print jobs to be released by the employee at the printer, minimising the potential for information breaches.  Users cannot print to the ‘wrong’ printer by mistake which could potentially lead to a data breachPull printing also reduces the waste created from duplicate or unwanted prints.

Pick the right tools for the job

A print device should be secured with the same level of care as any other network-enabled equipment, after all, MFPs, and print devices hold and process masses of confidential data. Unsecured printers are often unacknowledged but can be a target for hackers who might want to steal copies of documents or use your networked printer as a platform to attack other systems. Choose enterprise-class printers that support up-to-date network security settings, provide data encryption and data overwrite and therefore reduce the risk of a potential cyber-attack.

Secure your documents

Document security is critical to most organisations and is an essential step in supporting GDPR printing compliance. Consider whether your current print equipment is fit for purpose and that there are document security settings available within your print equipment. Sharp recommends introducing end-to-end encryption of print traffic and implementing watermarking on printed documents.

Password protection

Introduce controls that require users to authenticate before using a device. This prevents unauthorised use and associated costs. Users could log in via a PIN, username and password, proximity cards/fobs, or biometric finger recognition. This simple step not only reduces print waste but also decreases the likelihood of a data leak.

Think before you print

Only print when essential, and for secure printing and waste reduction; always remember to take your prints. When printing is necessary, Print Management Software, such as PaperCut MF can help you introduce audit trails to enable oversight of who printed what and where, providing the ability to backtrack data breaches in the event of any incident.

Sharp steps to ensure secure printing and GDPR compliance

Sharp is here to help organisations establish effective security measures and be compliant, offering a wide range of solutions to keep your print security up to date. From security features built-in to Sharp’s MFP hardware, to secure GDPR-compliant Print Management Solutions, including PaperCut MF.

Whatever your business size, Sharp can help you protect your information, without putting any extra burden on your team.

To reduce your organisations printing waste, improve print security and capitalise on printing cost reductions, download our free print resources now.

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