Convenience Issues of Security: Print Fleet Management
Let's chat about one of the more uncomfortable, unspoken aspects of modern IT: the convenience issues of security. In particular, those that arise when an army of printers threaten your very sanity. The question is, how can you maintain your printer security without letting the ensuing frustration lead you to the dark side?
Is it inefficient tech, or just laziness?
For starters, let's make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to understanding this particular convenience issue. Living in the 21st century, we’re accustomed to a certain degree of convenience. The user-friendly toasters and microwaves in our kitchens fuel our expectations for things to "just work."
Take that wireless network card in your laptop, for example. As you travel to and from work, home, Starbucks, etc., you don't expect to reconfigure your network settings every time you hop in the car. On the contrary, if those convex bars don't immediately light up when the laptop lid is cracked open, most of us wouldn't hesitate to call an IT hotline right then and there.
The same can be said for printer security. These ubiquitous devices are often the last things on your mind when it comes to security — which should make them that much more of a priority.
Admittedly, the biggest frustrations surrounding printer security are born out of their low accessibility. You can't just walk up to a printer, log in and check an anti-virus application to make sure the device is secure. The conveniences we've grown accustomed to on computers have undeniably ruined print fleet management for most of us.
A visible solution
Fortunately, today's printers are smarter than those dot-matrix wonders of years past. They've become so smart, in fact, that some can even self-heal. If you’re looking to make print fleet management as convenient as cloud-based environments, choosing a centrally managed platform is step one.
Being able to check the status of not only each individual printer, but the entire fleet status from a single view, removes print management's greatest frustration. Better yet, add in the ability to roll out bulk device updates, and you've got a convenient integration of hardware and software that takes the tiring legwork out of print management.
What about policy?
Another contributor to the convenience issues of security lies in the administration of new policy. As exciting as the creation of a comprehensive print security policy may be, actually deploying and enforcing it is a real downer — especially when new devices are added and remote offices are taken into account.
Mirroring the way group and user policies are handled in the PC world, the most convenient solution is one that uses devices smart enough to grab the correct policy without pesky human intervention. Yet again, this convenience goes back to central management. Creating a printing platform that tightly integrates centralized security management with plug-and-play hardware is the only way to resolve your frustrations. Look for hardware that can automatically assess and resolve potential threats to comply with your chosen policy and take the burden off your plate.
As trivial as convenience frustrations may seem, an inconvenient job is a job avoided. Making printer fleet security as convenient as checking your email makes it easier and less likely to be ignored.