Security and vulnerability flaws are nothing new to traditional server printing solutions, however with the discovery of the aptly named PrintNightmare (CVE-2021-34527) vulnerability, is it time to put traditional printing hardware solutions to bed and awake to a new day of secure cloud printing solutions.

What is the PrintNightmare vulnerability?

Sometime in June 2021 a vulnerability was discovered in the Microsoft Windows Print Spooler service. The flaw allows attackers to elevate privileges, essentially enabling them to not only access sensitive data, but to edit and delete it, as well as create other privileged accounts on the system. This vulnerability affects all devices running Windows 7 or higher.

In the months that followed, Microsoft put out several patches to fix this vulnerability. However, it wasn’t until mid-September that a patch was released which fixed the last known flaw, CVE-2021-36958. Having a major security risk on a printing solution for such a long time is potentially catastrophic to a business and the security of its client’s data.

Here at SOS Systems, we are serious about data security. Over the past few years, we have noted more and more compromises in on-site print solutions, resulting in some potentially serious data breaches, which would ultimately damage business reputation. So, how can you protect your organisation against future print server vulnerabilities? Well, one way would be to eliminate the on-premises servers completely and migrate your secure printing to the cloud.

8 Benefits of Cloud Printing Solutions

  1. No servers are needed – printers connect straight to the cloud.

One of the main reasons to switch to cloud-based print solutions is the ability to remove physical servers from your business premises. Servers require expert knowledge and a particular set of skills to maintain. Cloud based printing solutions eliminate the need for on-site maintenance.

  1. Save time and money.

Servers cost time and money to maintain. Moving to the cloud saves money and allows your team to get on with doing their day job.

According to industry analysts Quocirca it costs, on average, £1,900 to provision a server with annual running costs of a further £1,500. The bigger the business, the higher the costs. Maintaining a print server for a business with over 1,000 employees can cost more than £3,000 per year.

  1. Secure Follow-Me printing.

Secure Follow-Me Printing allows users to print documents to a secure print queue in the cloud, go on the move and securely print said document to a device of their choosing. Ensuring confidential and secure printing, whilst reducing waste from printed documents left in printers.

  1. A perfect solution for hybrid working.

Since the pandemic, more and more people have been working from home. As we look forward, companies are developing ways of ensuring optimum performance from employees whilst outside of the office. A Secure Cloud Printing Solution is perfect for teams working in different locations. The ability for users to complete work at home, but have documents print at a designated printer in the office, is invaluable.

  1. Detailed reporting and analysis.

Our Secure Cloud Printing Solutions allow for business leaders to access detailed Copy, Print and Scan reports. This allows for greater visibility of your fleet use and spend, with the ability to highlight use by department, device, application or individual user.

  1. Enhanced security.

Printers are secured and only accessible with a pin or security card, meaning no unauthorised access to printers and data sensitive documents. Print runs are not released unless the user authenticates at the device of choice.

Cloud Printing can even be used in Zero Trust environments, meaning everyone in an organisation must provide verification when trying to access information. This has been proven to reduce the risk of security breaches.

  1. Scan documents straight to the cloud.

Documents can be scanned directly to the cloud and platforms such as Drop Box, Google Drive, OneDrive, Sharepoint and more… This allows for greater team collaboration, as well as keeping documents in a secure and easy to manage location. Users can also scan directly to email, without the need for any legacy authentication.

  1. Environmental benefits.

With greater control over your print environment, it is possible to enforce sustainability policies and identify areas of inefficiency. With print jobs requiring authentication before execution, you can eliminate unnecessary printing. Indirect benefits can also be achieved by removing on-premises hardware, this reducing power and cooling requirements.

With all these advantages, you’d expect there might be a financial catch. In fact, moving to a cloud-based print management solution is more cost-efficient than maintaining an on-premises solution. Most businesses can expect to realise savings in the region of 40%.

Want to learn more about how your business can benefit from Secure Cloud Printing Solutions? Call us now on 01293 562525 or email and one of our dedicated team of specialist will call you back.

Cloud-based print management – simple, serverless and secure.