In today’s business world, efficiency and security are top priorities for organisations of all sizes. One area where these factors often collide is printing. Companies need a secure and efficient way to manage their printing needs while ensuring sensitive documents don’t fall into the wrong hands. That’s where pull printing comes into play. In this article, we’ll explore what pull printing is, its benefits, and the authentication mechanisms that make it a smart printing solution.
Pull printing is an excellent example of smart printing. Businesses are achieving a balance between speed and security. It implements a two-step authentication process to achieve the result. Print jobs are securely held until the user is ready to release them, reducing the risk of unauthorised access and preventing unnecessary waste of resources.
What is Pull Printing?
Pull printing, also known as secure pull printing, is a printing protocol that revolutionises the traditional print workflow. Unlike conventional printing, where documents are immediately sent to a printer for smart printing, pull printing introduces a two-step process. Here’s how it works:
As usual, the user initiates the print job from their computer by clicking “Print.” However, instead of printing immediately, the job is sent to a centralised, virtual, and secure hold-and-release queue.
To execute the print job, the user must physically authenticate themselves at the printer. This authentication can be done using various mechanisms such as a badge, card reader, username and password, or a mobile device. Once authenticated, the user selects the print job they wish to release, and the printer executes it.
The Benefits of Using Pull Printing
Smart printing offers several advantages over traditional printing methods, making it an attractive solution for businesses. Some of these benefits are:
Pull printing provides heightened security to its users. With traditional printing, sensitive documents can be left unattended in the output tray, posing a risk of unauthorised access. It also ensures that documents are only printed when the user is physically present to authenticate themselves, reducing the risk of data breaches.
Pull printing reduces waste by preventing jobs from being abandoned or reprinted multiple times due to last-minute corrections. Users can cancel print jobs before final authorisation, resulting in significant paper, ink, and toner savings.
Flexibility and Mobility
With pull printing, users can release their print jobs from any printer within the organisation’s network. This flexibility helps them choose a convenient printer, even if they are not near their workstation, improving workflow efficiency.
Authentication Mechanisms with Pull Printing
Pull printing relies on robust authentication mechanisms to ensure the security and authenticity of print jobs. Here are some common methods used for user authentication in smart printing:
Users can authenticate themselves in pull printing using their web browsers. This method is convenient for users who may not have access to physical badges or cards but can easily authenticate themselves using their network credentials.
Many organisations use proximity cards, badges, or key fobs for building access. These same cards can be used for pull printing authentication ultimately improving the user experience.
Username and Password/PIN
The traditional method of username and password or a personal identification number (PIN) is also commonly used for pull printing. This method is familiar to users and can be integrated with existing authentication systems.
With the upsurge in smartphones and mobile device usage, using mobile-based authentication has become increasingly popular among the general public and businesses. Users can now use their smartphones to authenticate themselves and release their print jobs securely.
Smart Printing: Efficiency and Security Combined
With the freedom to release print jobs from any printer within the network, pull printing offers unmatched flexibility and mobility. Users can work without worrying about rushing to a specific printer to collect their documents.
In addition to being smart in terms of security and efficiency, pull printing is also a smart financial choice. The reduction in paper and consumables usage translates to cost savings for organisations, contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly printing practice.
In conclusion, with its high availability and no requirement for dedicated print servers, pull printing is a powerful solution for modern organisations seeking secure, efficient, and flexible printing workflows. With its robust authentication mechanisms and smart printing capabilities, pull printing ensures businesses can print confidently, knowing that their sensitive information is safe and their printing operations are optimised. By adopting pull printing, organisations can take a step closer to a smarter, more secure, and more sustainable future.