Zero-Trust That You Can Trust

How Canon uniFLOW Online helps users step up their zero-trust approach



Keith Haas


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What organization doesn’t worry about securing their digital environments? While a lot of technology has advanced to better protect its users, bad actors will always be present trying to cause havoc. That said, hacks into systems by these people aren’t the only issue, as it’s been found that about 77% of cloud application breaches involved stolen credentials. If anything, this data point helps indicate that traditional security models are no longer viable to protect organizations and their clients’ data. As digital breaches remain a constant threat and continue to happen, it’s become essential for businesses to assume that their network is already insecure and adopt zero-trust security strategies to help ensure the highest level of protection. 


A zero-trust computing environment assumes that every connection and interaction is malicious. To incorporate this kind of strategy, many organizations require users to authenticate themselves for each session they join, encrypt communications and data within the environment, as well as remove persistent tokens to avoid unattended sessions from being “hijacked” among other security features. However, they must be wise about their approach to zero-trust to cover all their bases. That’s where Canon uniFLOW Online comes in: a solution that ensures that users are protected on all digital fronts.


What Is uniFLOW Online?

Canon uniFLOW Online is an output management solution designed with a modern approach to work in mind. Built with Microsoft Azure, this Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution is housed in the cloud, enabling members of remote teams to perform print functions (including secure pull printing and printing from mobile devices) and enact scan workflows securely, whether they are working in the office, in a branch location, or in the comfort of their own homes. uniFLOW Online’s cloud management features not only improve the productivity of employees, but this flexible solution can help organizations have more control over their print activity as a whole—reducing costs and waste in the process.


How Does uniFLOW’s Approach to Zero-Trust Differ from Those Found in Other Solutions?

Security was of utmost importance when designing uniFLOW Online, so the goal was to create an environment that adheres to the tents of zero-trust. There are three pillars of zero-trust security measures established by tech giants: verifying explicitly, granting least-privileged access, and assume breaches. First, verifying explicitly calls for authenticating users based on multiple unique, difficult-to-spoof data points that are available in a digital ecosystem. Next, with least-privileged access, organizations can limit what users have access to within the solution, thereby minimizing the functions a bad actor has access to if they are using someone else’s stolen or leaked credentials. Finally, assuming breaches calls for end-to-end encryption to keep data secure.


Unlike some solutions that might only incorporate one of these pillars, uniFLOW puts all these essential zero-trust practices into action. When verifying their identities, users can use their login credentials from identity providers like Azure AD, Google Workspace, and Okta to connect to uniFLOW Online. When it comes to least-privileged access, administrators can set privileged roles to users within the solution based on their responsibilities and only giving them access to what they need to perform their tasks. Looking at the last pillar, this is cleverly addressed with the solution’s zero trust compatibility mode. To put it simply: this mode within uniFLOW Online micro-segments the network between PCs and printers, meaning there are no lateral connections between the devices and all jobs between these devices are routed through the cloud.


Despite having all these measures in place, it’s not too hard for users to access the documents they want to release in uniFLOW’s zero-trust environment. To release print jobs from the cloud, users can access their documents through their personal secure print queue or by scanning a quick response (QR) code right on the device they are releasing it from. Voila! It’s that easy.


Keypoint Intelligence Opinion

Of all the approaches that could’ve been made to protect users’ data and devices within a print and scan solution, it’s smart of uniFLOW Online’s developers to take a more than “at a glance” approach on zero-trust policies. They have set the stage of what the essential offerings should be regarding any zero-trust strategy that businesses should adopt. Through uniFLOW Online’s security features, people can have the peace of mind that their high-level data will be secure and unseen by bad actors within the system, all while giving administrators the flexibility and control needed to utilize the solution to their organizations’ needs.


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