Achieving GDPR Compliance with Managed Print Services: Cost-effective and Secure Solutions

In today’s digital age, data privacy has never been more critical. Managed Print Services (MPS) are no exception. As businesses increasingly rely on MPS for streamlined operations, it’s crucial to ensure these services align with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In this article, I’ll delve into the intersection of MPS and GDPR compliance. We’ll explore how businesses can leverage MPS while keeping data privacy at the forefront. Get ready to navigate the complex world of print management and data protection with confidence.

Understanding Managed Print Services

To dive deeper into the nitty-gritty of Managed Print Services, let’s start by exploring their crucial role in the modern world and then move on to their integral features.

The Role of Managed Print Services in Modern Business

Fundamentally, Managed Print Services, or MPS, act as a comprehensive solution for business printing needs. This includes not just printing, but also copying, scanning and faxing requirements.

The number-one reason businesses turn to MPS represents the promise of a cost-effective solution, given that it offers potential savings of up to 30%. This means, if a business spends $100,000 on print expenditures annually, MPS could help it save $30,000.

Another major advantage of MPS lies in its role as an environment-friendly alternative. It’s considered green because it reduces paper wastage by controlling reckless printing, thereby contributing to sustainability.

MPS also streamlines operations, enhances productivity, and provides businesses with unprecedented visibility into their print environment. For instance, a monthly report from the MPS program can reveal insights about the most frequently used printers, individual employee printing habits, and the cost attached to each print job.

Essential Features of Managed Print Services

Typically, top-notch Managed Print Services enfold a host of desirable features. However, five essential features stand out:

  1. Print Audit:
    An MPS provider conducts a thorough print audit to assess the current print infrastructure of the business, shining a light on problem areas that need improvement.
  2. Centralized Management:
    MPS enables businesses to take control of their printing processes from one place without having to juggle multiple printers spread across different locations.
  3. Supply Management:
    With MPS, businesses get an automated supply management system, minimizing the risk of running short on printing essentials such as paper or ink.
  4. Proactive Maintenance:
    Instead of adopting a fire-fighting approach, MPS providers deliver proactive maintenance to avoid downtime, ensuring the smooth functioning of printers at all times.
  5. Security:
    Security dominates the list of priorities in MPS. From securing the print environment to data protection — MPS providers employ advanced tools to mitigate risks and comply with regulations like GDPR.

By understanding these aspects of Managed Print Services, businesses can make the most out of their print environment, aligning with their overall goals while staying compliant.

The Importance of GDPR Compliance

GDPR compliance gains prominence in the realm of Managed Print Services, not only as a legal obligation but also as a measure to uphold clients’ trust and safeguard sensitive data.

What Is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, constitutes a framework set by the European Union. This regulation came into effect on May 25, 2018, with the goal of harmonizing data privacy laws across Europe. Its primary intention is to empower individuals with control over their personal data while simplifying the regulatory environment for international businesses.

The GDPR applies to businesses operating within the EU, including organizations outside the EU that offer goods or services to customers or businesses in the EU. Ultimately, it’s a comprehensive set of rules formulated to protect the personal data of EU citizens.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Disregarding GDPR compliance carries significant risks. Penalties for non-compliance can be severe, with fines up to €20 million or 4% of a company’s global annual revenue, whichever is higher. In addition to these fines, non-compliant organizations risk reputational damage that could lead to a loss of customers and revenue.

For instance, Google faced a penalty of €50 million in 2019 for GDPR violations related to their advertising activities. This case signifies how even major corporations can fall foul of GDPR regulations.

Beyond monetary repercussions, organizations may experience a downward spiral in customer trust and loyalty. Additionally, GDPR violations may bring about investigative and legal costs, business disruption, and potential loss of intellectual property.

In the context of Managed Print Services, non-compliance could lead to unauthorized access or loss of sensitive data, leading to these dire consequences. Therefore, it becomes paramount for MPS providers to follow GDPR guidelines strictly and maintain a secure printing environment.

Indeed, solid GDPR compliance underscores the importance of finding a trusted and capable MPS provider – a choice that not only impacts operational efficiency and cost savings, but also influences a business’s standing in the face of data protection regulations.

Intersection of Managed Print Services and GDPR

In this intersection, the GDPR compliance becomes essential, taking into account its value for personal data protection. It’s also important that MPS providers respect GDPR guidelines, this shielding unauthorized exposure to sensitive data, ensuring an environment that is safe for printing.

Risk Assessment in Printing Operations

Risk, present in all printing operations, demands a thorough assessment. GDPR requires that companies conducting high-volume, high-risk data processing activities conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). Its function is identifying and acting upon sources of risk promptly. For example, simply leaving printouts unattended poses a risk; anyone might access them. Installing print management software addresses this by holding the job in a queue until the authorized user gives input. Assessment helps spot such vulnerabilities and measure the potential impact of data leaks or breaches, and drawing up an effective response strategy.

Enhancing Data Security with Managed Print Services

Skilled MPS providers prioritize the enhancement of data security. Configurations, such as user authentication protocols, pull printing, and hard-drive wiping, are implemented to maintain data privacy. User authentication protocols ensure only approved individuals can access print functions, pull printing holds print jobs until the user is present at the device to collect, and hard-drive wiping eradicates leftover data from the print server immediately post-job. These processes promote GDPR compliance by incorporating best practices for data privacy into daily operations. They also prove an effective way to manage and mitigate the inherent risks of data exposure in print environments.

Best Practices for GDPR-Compliant Print Management

#printing #GDPR #managedprintservices

Under the umbrella of a GDPR-centric working environment, compliance with privacy regulations doesn’t end at secure file sharing or secure online transactions. Print management also plays a pivotal role. Let’s delve into best practices that ensure GDPR-compliant print management, focusing on regular audits and updates, control of access, and secure document handling and storage.

Conducting Regular Audits and Updates

To ensure GDPR compliance in a printing environment, regular audits are a fundamental step. Audits allow detection of potential data breaches and lead to their swift remediation. For example, an audit may reveal that a printer, rather than erasing the data after the print task is complete, retains it, putting the data at risk. After identifying this, system updates can be used to eradicate such vulnerabilities, fortifying data protection. Therefore, the combination of regular audits and system updates is critical for a GDPR-compliant print infrastructure.

Implementing Access Control and User Authentication

Controlled access forms a foundation for print data security. By implementing user authentication protocols, MPS providers can ensure that access to print jobs is limited strictly to authorized personnel. A concrete example of this is pull printing – a user sends a job to the printer, but it’s not immediately printed. The user must then authenticate themselves at the machine, after which their print job is produced. This methodology prevents any unwelcome eyes from laying upon sensitive information, keeping the print environment closely aligned with GDPR requirements.

Secure Document Handling and Storage

Lastly, a critical consideration in GDPR-compliant print management is the handling and storage of documents post-printing. At times, organizations neglect the secure disposal of printed materials, which could compromise confidentiality. One best practice I find highly effective is shredding printed documents once they’ve served their purpose. Furthermore, in the case of digitized storage of printed information, the hard-drives should be overwritten or wiped clean regularly. These practices minimize the prospect of unauthorized access to data, contributing to a GDPR-compliant framework. Secure document handling and storage, therefore, is as essential as any prior steps in ensuring that a print environment adheres to GDPR guidelines.

Case Studies: Success Stories of GDPR-Compliant Printing

Our exploration of GDPR compliance in Managed Print Services wouldn’t be complete without discussing some practical examples. In this section, I will discuss a few industry examples. I’ll highlight the vital lessons we can learn from these successful companies that prioritized GDPR compliance in their printing services.

Industry Examples and Lessons Learned

First, let’s examine a financial institution, referred to as Financial Company A for the purpose of this case. This company engaged an MPS provider and witnessed a transformation in their print management. The MPS provider implemented advanced printing technologies, provided user authentication protocols, and accommodated regular audits. The result was a GDPR-compliant printing environment that also improved document security and cost-effectiveness.

Key takeaway? Be strict on print access control, and don’t underestimate the power of continuous process review and improvement.

Next, let’s consider an international marketing firm, Marketing Company B. This firm hired an MPS provider and modernized their print environment. The achieved GDPR compliance through a tech-friendly approach that included secure print release, constant monitoring, and eco-friendly print solutions.

Lesson learned? A tech-forward approach to print management not only aligns with GDPR but can support sustainability efforts.

Lastly, there’s Healthcare Provider C. Their choice of MPS provider introduced GDPR-compliant document handling and storage practices. This transformation minimised security risks, improved workflow, and assured the protection of sensitive patient information.

The takeaway here? Never undermine the importance of secure document handling and storage, particularly in sectors dealing with high volumes of confidential data.

These case studies, while unique, share one common theme: the companies’ commitment to GDPR-compliant MPS. They prove that compliance is achievable, beneficial, and a crucial step towards safeguarding data privacy in today’s digital age.


I’ve seen first-hand how Managed Print Services (MPS) can be a game-changer in achieving GDPR compliance and securing data privacy. It’s not just about cost-effectiveness or operational efficiency. It’s about protecting what’s most valuable in the digital age – personal data. The case studies of Financial Company A, Marketing Company B, and Healthcare Provider C are proof that with the right measures, GDPR-compliant printing is achievable. Regular audits, user authentication, secure print release, and GDPR-compliant document handling are all integral parts of this process. So, let’s embrace MPS and its benefits, not just for the sake of compliance, but for the larger goal of safeguarding data privacy. Because in today’s digital world, data privacy isn’t just a need, it’s a right we all deserve.