January 31, 2018

Data Security in an Inkjet Production Environment

Leslie Wengenroth | Director of Marketing
Men examining chart

I’ve been looking at two interesting studies about inkjet production printing in the past week – a study by SGIA called “Production Inkjet Printing: Consideration, Deployment and End Results” and a white paper that CrawfordTech sponsored with Inkjet Insight called “Building End-to-End Data Security into Inkjet Print Operations”.

The SGIA study confirms what many of us already know. Production inkjet printing is expanding rapidly, and is now adopted by 43% of the 700+ U.S. printers who took part in their survey. The survey looked at five segments within the overall print market – commercial, transaction, in-plants, direct mail, and publication, and included owners of both sheet fed and continuous feed devices.

Although post implementation satisfaction on the part of print service providers and their customers is generally high, there are a few points that are of particular interest for any company that provides solutions to this market.

For the PSPs, quality of output is one of the top drivers when evaluating inkjet presses.  From their customers’ viewpoint, approximately 75% of them were happy with the results of inkjet output, but a quarter of them had concerns about quality.

Another major factor for the print service providers when investing in a press was to be able to accurately assess and anticipate the cost per page and total cost of ownership. A large component of the quality and cost analysis is the ability to determine the suitability of different substrates, and understand ink consumption based on typical coverage.

The SGIA study recommends that print vendors work closely with their prospective customers to print their actual files on various paper stocks so that they can assess quality, gain customer buy-in, and accurately determine their costs.

That all seems very sensible. But then I took a look at the Inkjet Insight paper about data security in an inkjet production environment. As we all know, data breaches are a serious problem these days – and potentially an expensive one. As the Inkjet Insight paper points out “The nature of transaction and direct mail print operations, in particular, make them target-rich sources of personal data in high volume.”

So how can we reconcile the importance of real-world testing using customer files and data with the risks that come with the transmission of that data?

The answer is effective redaction. With CrawfordTech’s Redaction Express, the data is not removed, since that will distort any assessments of ink coverage and related costs. And it’s not covered with a box or otherwise hidden, since the information might still exist within the file. Our solution scrambles the data, replacing it with meaningless characters that occupy the same space – and use the same amount of ink.

We think that this is such an important solution that we’re offering a free thirty day trial of Redaction Express, so learn more or sign up here.

There are other tools that facilitate data security, including CrawfordTech’s PRO Lockdown and Signed PDF. In fact, the best strategy for ensuring security is to employ multiple solutions, to integrate them into your operations, and to constantly evaluate what you’re doing.

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