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Managed Print - The Importance of Two-Factor Authentication

Managed Print and The Importance of Two Factor Authentication

Managed Print and the Importance of two Factor Authentication 1Allow us, once again, to get rhetorical.

Let’s say a senior Vice President has carelessly left the details of his salary on an uncollected print-out, visible in the office printer’s paper tray, for all to see.

If an employee spots these unattended details, discusses the contents with his colleagues and causes something of an uproar amongst the company staff, is that grounds to fire him?

According to a recent UK tribunal, it’s not – and if anything, it demonstrates the importance of Two Factor Authentication (2FA) to protect your confidential files.

Managed Print and the Importance of two Factor Authentication  2An employee at a UK-based video game developer was unfairly dismissed by his company for the very scenario above, according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Having discovered a print-out of his Senior VP’s salary details in a printer’s paper tray one morning, the employee calmly placed it in an ‘unclaimed document’ folder and spoke about it only briefly with one other employee. From there, he returned to a seemingly regular working day.

Still, with the word now out, and the document still quietly visible until lunchtime (when it was virtuously placed it into confidential waste), a further 9 employees were already privy to their Senior VP’s pay Managed Print and the Importance of two Factor Authentication 3grade. Some minor disruption broke out among employees and, by the next working day, the hapless employee was fired.

Fast forward a few months and that same employee successfully brought a case of unfair dismissal forward to the UK Employment Appeal Tribunal. They ruled that it was, in fact, the senior VP that had broken company policy by not adhering to the company’s information security system. Furthermore, it delivered the following Managed Print and the Importance of two Factor Authentication 4verdict:

“(We) also found that the salary information had entered the public domain because it had been left on the printer by (the Senior VP), so in any event it had lost any quality of confidence that it might have had…..by leaving the document on the printer, (the Senior VP) had put it in the public domain of the workplace.”

What does this have to do with Two Factor Authentication? Well, while we don’t know just how the company in question manages its print environment, we do know that this kind of scenario simply shouldn’t happen under Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).


With 2FA installed on your print devices, no print jobs are completed until the recipient is at the printer and ready to receive their documents. Using a device such as an electronic fob, or a randomly generated key code, the user confirms who they are and that they’re ready to collect before the printer dispenses their documents. That way, your sensitive salary details don’t fall into the wrong hands.Managed Print and the Importance of two Factor Authentication 5

Still, instance such as these aren’t the only reason to adopt 2FA. Under GDPR rules, the protection of sensitive documents is a serious legal concern. Imagine if it was a customer’s personal and financial details that had been left in the paper tray: any less-virtuous employee could have stolen, abused or sold those details – and it’s safe to say the business wouldn't appeal the legal ramifications successfully.

It’s not just a lack of IT know-how that necessitates a Managed Service Provider. Whatever your circumstances, you may find it’s the best way to steer your company towards its aspirations.


A Mirus Managed Print Solution does more than Keep Your Documents Secure.

With Smart Monitoring keeping you supplied, Secure Print protecting your devices from data breaches and Managed Print helping to automate your processes, we’ll supplement your strategy and help lower the costs of your everyday print environment. 

Get in touch for more, or check out our eBook

Mirus IT Four Steps to Secure Print eBook


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