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Avoiding Mobile Printing Problems: 5 Factors to Consider

Posted on Tue, May 20, 2014

(Last week, we published the first part of a two-part look at how pre-surveys and user audits help IT departments create a framework that will keep a BYOD policy from devolving into a chaotic, unsecured “do your own thing” (DYOT) environment. This is the second part of that article.)

Surveys and audits are especially important when considering mobile printing, according to Jared Hansen, CEO of Breezy, because end users want to have access to desktop functions for all business applications, on any device, anytime, and anywhere – and printing is no exception. 
“The dream of the paperless office isn’t a reality for most businesses today,” he says. “And it won’t be a reality for some time to come.”

A digital workforce is still very reliant on printing to support everyday business activities. The
consumer-oriented applications that many end users have installed on their smartphones and tablets can leave companies open to a range of man-in-the-middle attacks that can compromise security. It’s a proven fact that mobile printing increases employee productivity, but secure mobile printing does not come built in to today’s mobile devices.

Breezy offers secure mobile printing solutions for Android, iOS, Blackberry and other devices, and Breezy is integrated with leading MDM and security solutions. But a pre-survey or user
audit can significantly improve a Breezy deployment, Hansen says.Using an iPad in a business meeting

In addition to basic questions about the job functions of users who need access to mobile printing, the operating system and devices they use, the personal apps they’ve installed on their devices and how they interact with the company network, there are five areas of mobile print management to consider in a user audit or survey. They include:

  1. What regulatory and compliance standards must be met? What controls have to be in place on employee devices to meet compliance standards? What kinds of data are users storing on mobile devices? Do users currently use their mobile devices in a way that could cause
    compliance problems?
  2. What kind of printing do users need? Do users need the ability to print from a mobile device to a network printer inside the company? Do they need to use a cloud-printing service to print to a public printer network while travelling? Is pull printing with user authentication a necessity in your workplace? Does the company have a current managed print service solution in place? Do you need to track printer usage and costs?
  3. Do you need to allow guest printing services for visitors to your workplace? Whether it’s a client, a board member, or a vendor who needs to print a contract while in a meeting, many companies find that allowing guests to print to the corporate network is a necessity – but that doesn’t mean you have to allow unsecured devices to connect to the network.
  4. Is public printing a requirement for on-the-go employees? Printing from public printing “hot-spots” such as hotels, business centers, airports, web access, and print and copy services is a common need for employees who travel for business purposes. On-device security is the best way to ensure that company data is protected without restricting employee access to nearby printers.
  5. How much central management is required for mobile printing, apps, and mobile devices? Integrating mobile printing into any existing print management strategies is a big help in containing costs and mitigating security risks. But how that is managed may vary depending on your company’s needs. For instance, is on-device encryption enough to protect printed data – or do you need on-device encryption plus the reporting and cost-management functions of a
    print management tool?

A secure and simple managed approach to mobile printing isn’t an option – it’s a necessity, as more personally owned mobile devices enter the workplace. Breezy’s CEO says that the process of overseeing mobile device use includes more than simply providing network access control. “Most of the risks and costs come from employee attitudes and behavior. Not every employee will understand the need for data security – and even those who do can easily make a mistake in the name of expediency or simple forgetfulness.

“For this reason an employee survey that identifies potential problems, such as using a personal Cloud storage system like Dropbox to move files from a mobile device to an unsecured computer or printer can be very helpful in spotting potential risks,” he says.

For more information about integrating secure mobile printing into your IT plan, download a datasheet on Breezy for Enterprise or download a copy of The Definitive Guide to Mobile Printing, a free ebook from Breezy.

Tags: secure mobile printing, mobile printing on android, enterprise mobile printing, mobile printing on iPad, mobile device management, BYOD, enterprise mobility

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