How cloud print management can help K-12 districts improve printer security

Print Management for education recently attended the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) 2023 Convention & Exposition, and one of the hot topics debated was that schools continue to be attractive targets for cyber threat actors.

According to a recent Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) report, 29% of K-12 MS-ISAC member organizations reported a cyber incident. School districts across the US have been forced to cancel classes after a spate of cybersecurity breaches and bad actors aren’t discriminating. In September last year, one of the largest school districts in the United States was the victim of a ransomware attack.

Reinforcing the seriousness of the threat, the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the FBI released a joint advisory warning of an uptick in cybercrime targeting the sector, especially public school districts.

Districts are faced with a pressing demand to mitigate risk in the face of thinly stretched resources and budget constraints. In fact, the MS-ISAC study found that the average school spends less than 8% of its IT budget on cybersecurity, with one in five schools committing less than 1%.

Printers provide an easy entry point

With schools heavily reliant on IT for everything they do, it’s not surprising that limited IT resources and budget will focus more on some areas than others.

Despite the fact that printing devices process, store and receive data, they often feature lower down the priority list. One common misconception is that implementing secure pull printing is an effective means of protecting confidential information. It absolutely is – to a degree. But while secure print release removes the threat of someone viewing an uncollected print-out which includes sensitive data, it does not address the much more pertinent security risk of a network breach. 

The reality is that bad actors will look to exploit less well guarded systems and printers provide an easy entry point. Even a single printer that’s network connected can provide a gateway to a school or district’s entire system, which poses both a financial and reputational risk.

Take print to the cloud

One way to protect your school’s printers from hackers and other cybercriminals is to migrate the printing infrastructure to the cloud.

Cloud print management enables organizations to remove reliance on cost and energy-intensive print servers and instead leverage a serverless infrastructure to centrally manage printing devices and printing.

By managing the print infrastructure in the cloud, school districts will benefit from automated patching and monitoring, safe in the knowledge it’s always up to date and always secure. The platform also has a whole host of features to keep end-users secure, such as enabling existing single sign-on, login and authentication policies to be connected to the software. We also support zero trust environments.

Google Workspace integration

Our secure print wizard makes security easy for administrators and end-users alike. With direct-IP printing, print jobs never leave your network. And Edge Print which enables users to securely print when they are not on the same network as the printer, also gives IT fine-grained control over which printers are available for remote printing, as well as full visibility into printers used outside of the corporate network.

Plus, it’s easy to control which users can print remotely – thanks to Google Workspace integration – IT leads can grant remote print user privileges drilling down to individual users, groups or devices.

Make sure printer security is on your radar is packed full of features that offer greater control, compliance, traceability and transparency, enabling smart and secure serverless printing.

Looking for a powerful way to shore up security across your school or district’s print environment, why not sign up for a free 30-day trial?

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