Is Secure Release Printing Right for Your Organization?

Secure release printing is a feature that allows users to send a document to a printer, but hold the document in a queue until the user is physically present at the printer to release it.

Organizations use secure release printing to ensure that sensitive or confidential documents are only printed when authorized by the appropriate personnel. This can also help to reduce wasted print jobs and decrease the cost of printing.

This additional layer of security is typically implemented in order to prevent the accidental or unauthorized release of sensitive information and can also help to protect the organization from potential data breaches.

Secure printing is often used in industries such as finance, insurance, management consulting, and healthcare, where the protection of sensitive information is of paramount importance.

Read Pharos Secure Release Documentation

Direct Printing vs. Secure Release Printing

With direct printing, a print job is sent directly to the printer and begins printing immediately. With secure release printing, the document is held in a queue until the appropriate personnel enter their credentials, such as a username and password, to release the print job. 

This process helps to prevent the accidental or unauthorized release of sensitive information. 

Additionally, Secure release printing can also be set to track who printed, when and on which device, adding an extra layer of accountability and security.

Why Large Organizations Use Secure Printing

In a small organization (under 1000 employees), unmonitored direct printing is certainly not desirable, but it may not present the same level of financial, compliance and usability impact as it would in a company with 5,000, 10,000 or 50,000 employees.  In an enterprise environment, even a single-digit point increase in wasted print jobs, data loss or non-compliance can result in millions of dollars and significant non-compliance issues.

For these reasons, large organizations look to secure release printing.


Secure release printing ensures that sensitive or confidential documents are only printed by authorized individuals, preventing unauthorized access or disclosure.


Secure printing can help organizations comply with regulations and industry standards that require the protection of sensitive information.

Auditing and Tracking

Implementing secure release technology allows administrators to track and audit document printing, providing a record of who printed what and when.

Cost savings

Requiring additional authorization at the print device can reduce printing costs by preventing waste and unnecessary printing of documents. (It’s surprising, and shocking, how much money is wasted by print jobs that are forgotten in the tray, and eventually reprinted for no reason.)

Pull Printing and Secure Release

Pull printing and secure release printing are similar in that they both involve an additional step before a document is printed. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Pull printing, also known as “follow me” printing, is a method of printing where documents are held in a queue until the user physically goes to the printer and releases the document by providing some form of identification, such as a badge or a code. This can help to reduce waste by ensuring that documents are only printed when they are actually needed, and it also prevents sensitive documents from being left uncollected on the printer.

Secure release printing, as previously mentioned, requires an additional step of authentication before a document can be printed. This can include using a username and password, or other forms of authentication such as biometric or smart card. It is designed to prevent the accidental or unauthorized release of sensitive information.

In summary, both pull printing and secure release printing adds an extra layer of security to the printing process, but pull printing is more focused on reducing waste and increasing efficiency, while secure release printing is more focused on preventing the accidental or unauthorized release of sensitive information.

With that being said, if you use both interchangeably, you won’t get in trouble with us.

Does Secure Release Printing Work with All Printers?

This feature is typically implemented through software and hardware solutions and can be used with most modern printers that are connected to a network. 

However, it may not be compatible with older printers that do not have the necessary connectivity or capability to support the feature. 

Additionally, some printers may require additional hardware such as card readers or other authentication devices to support secure release.

Read Pharos Documentation on Secure Release Printer Readiness

Do You Know About Delegate Print?

Delegate Print enables users to release print documents on behalf of someone else. With Delegate Print, a job owner can designate another user or users (known as delegates) to release their documents from any Secure Release capable device. For example, a manager can ask their office assistant to release and collect printed documents on their behalf.

Learn More Here

Additional Information on Secure Printing

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