How to Implement Zero Trust Printing – Its Components

1800 Office SOlutions Team member - Elie Vigile
1800 Team

The trend of zero trust printing is growing, and if your business is looking for ways to secure your data, it’s essential to include your networked printers in your plan. Implementing zero trust in your print environment can help mitigate security risks and enhance secure printing.

For more information on how to implement zero trust in your office print infrastructure, you’re in the right place. Remember, trust print solutions should be an integral part of your overall print management strategy to ensure robust print security.

In this blog post you’ll learn what is zero trust printing and how to implement zero trust printing?

What is Zero Trust Printing?

Zero trust printing operates on the principle of “trust nobody.” In this security model, the concept of zero trust is applied to an organization’s networked printers, incorporating robust controls to enhance visibility and data security. These measures ensure that every print job is authenticated, minimizing the risk of a breach.

The zero trust approach within a zero trust network architecture provides numerous benefits, such as reducing paper waste, increasing the security of freshly printed materials, and maintaining an electronic record of who printed a project, which print server or machine they used, and the details of what was printed. By implementing these controls, organizations can better manage user access, protect against cyber threats, and secure each endpoint in their print infrastructure.

The Components of Zero Trust Printing

Highly regulated industries such as healthcare and legal organizations have been the first to adopt zero-trust printing practices, as they frequently handle confidential materials. Zero trust means implementing stringent security measures to protect sensitive information.

However, today we see a growing interest in zero trust printing from a wide variety of organizations and market verticals. If your business uses shared printers, you should consider adopting a zero-trust model to enhance your security posture.

Components of Zero Trust Printing

Zero-trust print environments leverage zero trust principles to secure every aspect of the printing process. By integrating cloud print services and advanced print solutions from providers like Xerox and Canon, organizations can ensure their network security is robust. Zero-trust security isn’t just about securing individual devices; it extends to creating comprehensive zero trust environments. Embracing these zero trust networking practices can significantly improve cybersecurity across your print infrastructure.

Always Verify

Zero trust isn’t just a concept; it’s a security policy that can be applied to managed print technology to enhance document printing security. This is typically achieved by installing secure printing software, requiring users to swipe a programmed badge or card at a reader attached to the printer or enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN) into the keypad. Once the user is verified and authorized, they can select and release their print job.

Incorporating a secure cloud print feature on a shared printer or multifunction device helps protect sensitive data, preventing unauthorized access and potential data breaches. This approach is an extension of the zero trust network architecture philosophy, ensuring that printing means safeguarding confidential information.

Moreover, secure printing strategies offer additional benefits, such as reducing unintended printing, conserving paper, and cutting down on paper waste. In a hybrid workplace, integrating print management software as part of your zero trust architecture can significantly enhance your overall cyber security.

Provide Least Privileged Access with Segmentation

Unrestricted access to printers can pose significant security risks and lead to unnecessary costs. Securing your office print environment is crucial. By implementing secure printing technology, you can define and manage printing access for each user. This allows you to segment users and provide access only to the printers or multifunction devices they need.

For example, you might have a high-end printer designated for specialty marketing materials and product manuals. This printer may offer higher quality paper, various sizes, and additional binding features not found on standard office printers. Due to the higher cost per page, access to this printer can be restricted to users who regularly need to print these specialty materials.

Similarly, in organizations with multiple locations, most users only need access to printers at their physical location. However, some users, such as management or salespeople, may need access to printers at multiple locations. By segmenting access, you ensure that users can only use the printers necessary for their role, enhancing security and reducing costs.

Assume the Risk of a Breach

The zero trust approach inherently assumes that every print job carries a security risk. By implementing secure printing, all print jobs are meticulously tracked. Security administrators can utilize analytics to enhance visibility, drive threat detection, and leverage the data to strengthen future defenses.

For example, most of the businesses employed their zero trust approach to identify the individual who printed a bomb threat on a business printer. This incident highlights how security threats can manifest in various forms, underscoring the importance of comprehensive print job tracking and analysis.

Is Zero Trust Printing Costly?

Zero trust printing can involve initial costs for secure printing software, hardware upgrades, and implementation. However, the investment can lead to significant savings by reducing security breaches, unauthorized access, and paper waste. Implementing a zero trust approach enhances data security, minimizes the risk of costly data breaches, and improves regulatory compliance.

Is Zero Trust Printing Costly

In the long run, the cost of zero trust printing is often outweighed by the benefits of enhanced security, streamlined print management, and reduced operational costs. Thus, while there may be upfront expenses, the overall return on investment makes it a worthwhile consideration for businesses.

What is the Disadvantage of Zero Trust?

The primary disadvantage of zero trust is its complexity and the potential for high implementation costs. Establishing a zero trust architecture requires significant time, resources, and expertise, as it involves continuous monitoring, rigorous authentication, and the segmentation of networks. This can lead to increased operational overhead and require substantial changes to existing infrastructure.

Additionally, zero trust can sometimes cause user frustration due to frequent authentication requirements and restricted access, potentially impacting productivity. Despite these challenges, the enhanced security benefits often justify the investment and effort involved in adopting a zero trust model.


Zero trust printing, while initially costly and complex to implement, offers significant long-term benefits in terms of enhanced security, reduced risk of data breaches, and improved regulatory compliance. By meticulously tracking all print jobs and restricting access based on user roles, organizations can safeguard sensitive information and streamline print management.

Despite the challenges, the investment in zero trust printing technology and practices ultimately leads to a more secure and efficient print environment. Embracing zero trust principles is essential for any organization looking to bolster its cybersecurity posture and protect its valuable data.

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