No Action Necessary: Device Level Print Security
October 07, 2019 | NECS
Seventy-five files are compromised every second, and office printers more than five years old are most at risk. Thankfully, printer security is steadily progressing and large OEMs are tackling this issue where it matters most: on the device level.
So where are we today? Printers can heal themselves. Now you’ve really heard it all! HP’s Enterprise-class devices with FutureSmart firmware 4.5 or higher are secured on four levels, none of which require any human action. Employees and IT departments cheer! Business owners smile! Print security only gets easier from here.
Let’s take a step back to better understand what these devices are really capable of. When it comes to print security, there are four things that matter.
- The BIOS
- Memory activity
- Network connections
If you’ve never heard of a BIOS, you’re not alone. It stands for Basic Input/Output System, and its job is to load the essential hardware and firmware when a device is powered on. If the BIOS is compromised by malicious activity, your printer, documents, and network are all at risk. What if you could detect this activity while powering up and then automatically reboot to a safe “golden copy”? Now you can. HP Sure Start technology does exactly this, and others will soon follow.
Why does firmware matter? It coordinates your printer’s functions, controls, and security. HP firmware is digitally signed as authentic by HP so if an anomaly is detected, the device, once again, self-heals by rebooting to a secure, offline state. It then notifies IT. This process is called whitelisting, and it has proven extremely effective in preventing cybercriminals from accessing unauthorized information and important company data.
While the BIOS and firmware are checked upon start up, HP’s run-time intrusion detection monitors memory activity as the printer is in use by your team. It checks all operations and prevents intrusions by, you guessed it, rebooting. HP JetAdvantage Security Manager then reviews and resolves any affected security settings to bring you back to a secure and functioning print environment.
The final level of protection HP has introduced is Connection Inspector. It looks at all outgoing network connections and prevents malware from “calling home” to outside servers, stealing data, and compromising your network. Like the above, if anything is detected, the device automatically triggers its self-healing reboot.
Proactive technology features are the future of print security. If you’re interested in learning more about HP’s security offering, NECS is hosting a Lunch & Learn event on October 31st from 11 am to 2 pm at Brady Sullivan Plaza. For more details, please click here.