Microsoft: Universal Print is compatible with Zero-Trust Network Security

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Key notes

  • Microsoft has made claims that its Universal Print service is part of its "zero-trust" vision for networks.
  • It is alleged that Azure Active Directory validates printers managed under the print service. 
  • Universal Print is based on IPP hence no need for installation, updates or maintenance of print drivers.

Microsoft has made claims that its Universal Print service is part of its “zero-trust” vision for networks. This appears to be new marketing information as earlier on, Microsoft had released the management erks for the service for IT pros.

The Universal Print service was released in March and at the time, IT pros would be charged with the responsibility of overseeing print limits. For organizations that have either an E3 or E5 license, the Universal Print service is said to be “free” 

Usable with old printers

According to Microsoft, there is an unmatched feeling of using new Universal Print-qualified printers which they say is the best experience. To see a detailed list of printer partners supporting Universal Print, see this Microsoft document.  

It is also possible for users to use the Universal Print service with older printers. Microsoft recommends an alternative solution; its Windows Universal Print Connector software. However, if using this solution, ensure you have installed the latest print drivers..

Keep in mind

  • Since Universal Print connector dictates that appropriate printer drivers are installed on the host PC, users are told to check that they are installing from a trusted source. 
  • Using a connector will stall the process as using the Universal Print service aims at avoiding installation and maintenance of print drivers.

It is worth noting that so far, “PrintNightmare” was missing in the announcement. It could be that the two problems are not related as client rights are constrained.

PrintNightmare vulnerabilities have in the past affected Microsoft’s  associated with Microsoft’s Point and Print Windows functionality.

Several patches have been issued for PrintNightmare attack variants since they were first discovered but it seems organizations have run into problems with the workaround.

Let us know in the comment section what you think of the Universal print and its compatibility.