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Have You Left a Security Weak Spot?

From the Printware Blog on Wednesday 5th April 2017 in Security

Many offices, even those that have a significant focus on security, may potentially have a glaring blindspot that is vulnerable to attack. They may even be providing malicious individuals with an entry-point to their whole network. For, while each point in the network will be fully secured against all kinds of malicious activity, some devices can be overlooked and left exposed: Their printers.

HP Professional Security Man

There are several key security areas that need focus in order to fully secure document management devices, and by extension the entire network.


Print jobs and user credentials stored on the each device must be frequently erased or encrypted to prevent access by unauthorised individuals.

Network Data

Any device that is linked to your company network can supply an ideal point for malware and viruses to enter it. Just like a computer, a printer can be hacked and used like a gateway to wreak havoc unless adequate safeguards are in place.

Access Control & Authentication

When sensitive documents are printed they are available to anyone to pick up, especially if the printer settings can be changed by whoever feels like doing so. However, if access restrictions and user authentication is in place each user will only have the documents and permission that they are entitled to.

Because of these three key vulnerabilities, your network must be protected with printers that are always on guard. Equally, your sensitive data and documents must be secured – from the moment the user hits ‘print’ to the point that they are picked up at the printer.

Secure Computer Code

Protect, Detect, and Recover

HP Enterprise printing devices are unique in the marketplace in having three key embedded technologies that work together to thwart attackers’ efforts and self-heal. These technologies make up a system that incorporates the entire runtime cycle of the device, continually monitoring and validating crucial internal systems to ensure the printer is reliably protected at all times.

How does it work?

Self-healing features address three primary steps in the runtime cycle of a HP device.

1. HP Sure-start

On start up the printer stringently validates its BIOS code. If compromised, it defaults to use a safe ‘golden copy’ of the BIOS.

2. Whitelisting

Code is continuously validated to check that it is genuine and digitally signed by HP before being loaded into memory. If any anomalies are detected the device reboots.

3. Printer settings checking

Security settings are frequently checked and fixed so that these cannot be overwritten by malicious third-parties.

4. Run-time intrusion detection

The device monitors complex firmware and memory operations for any incongruities and upon attack, shuts down and reboots the device.

Find out more about the devices that feature HP's advanced security features,  HP Enterprise Printers.

Posted in Security

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