“How fast and decentralised printing can make the difference in data security and GDPR compliance”

By Epson Blog Team

Today’s multifunction printers (MFPs) are more than just printers; they are powerful document management systems for business, capable of fulfilling various organisational needs for scanning, saving, printing, and sending documents between devices – and that’s the basics. MFPs have become a critical link to office networks – connected to shared drives, laptops, phones and tablets. Yet greater connection means greater risk when it comes to keeping documents and data secure, unless the vulnerabilities are understood and addressed.

Printers and scanners are the most overlooked IT security threats and are protected by only 22% of organisations1; but hopefully this will change in light of the European’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into place in May this year with the aim of protecting personal data handled by organisations in our information age.

Minimising the risks associated with office printers and scanners starts with understanding the two key vulnerabilities:

  1. Entry point to your company’s network: Printers and scanners today are connected devices that are often linked to laptops, tablets and mobile phones. We’ve all heard about hackers trespassing through computers, but any connected device can be a point of access.

  2. Storage place for personal information: Printers and scanners can at times be a home of unclaimed output, leaving sensitive documents out in the open office space with the risk of being accessed and mishandled by an unauthorised recipient.


But fear not, because technology companies like Epson have thought ahead, and provide innovative solutions developed to enhance data security and GDPR compliance. These include document security through Epson Print Admin, which grants authority to authenticate and identify users; and secure and encrypted communication, including inbuilt IP Filtering, PIN code functions, and compatibility with the latest security and encryption protocols. Other advanced security features that can take safety to a higher level include PDF protection, secure scanning, device lock screens, secure document processing, and property protection.

For the truly risk-averse among us, here are two additional ideas to ensure a restful night’s sleep, without the worry of unclaimed documents left on the printer overnight:

  • Fast first page out: this may seem an insignificant benefit when it comes to data security, but waiting time is often what leads to pages being left on printers. Epson inkjet printers have the edge in this respect, as no heat is needed to print, so no warm-up time is needed. In fact, Epson’s WorkForce Pro business inkjet printers are up to 3.5 times faster than other printers, which makes print and collect easier and more immediate.

  • Decentralised printing: European office workers are on average 12 metres away from a printer, according to Epson research2. The sprint back and forth to the centralised printer down the hall or on another floor might be a nice way for employees to stretch their legs, but there are significant disadvantages to this type of printer fleet structure when it comes to security of information. Opting for a decentralised printer fleet could be the right option in today’s connected environment. The local distributed print model is particularly useful where confidentiality and fast, direct access to prints is crucial, for example in HR, Finance or Legal departments. 


As you can see, even in our evermore connected world, there are many ways for a business to secure data and keep documents safe, and each solution can provide cumulative benefits. Ensuring that the small, but necessary, steps are taken could make all the difference in keeping your business safe and compliant.

To learn even more about printer and scanner security, read our whitepaper ‘IT security and GDPR: What they mean for printing and scanning in your business'.

About Epson

Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to co-creating sustainability and enriching communities by leveraging its efficient, compact, and precision technologies and digital technologies to connect people, things, and information. The company is focused on solving societal issues through innovations in home and office printing, commercial and industrial printing, manufacturing, visual and lifestyle. Epson will become carbon negative and eliminate use of exhaustible underground resources such as oil and metal by 2050.

Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the worldwide Epson Group generates annual sales of around JPY 1 trillion.


Article Information

GDPR, Inkjet printing, security


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Epson Blog Team

Our team of bloggers have a passion for how technology can improve your lives and want to share this with you.