Security Experts:

McAfee, Xerox Team Up on Printer Security

LAS VEGAS - McAfee FOCUS - Xerox and McAfee unveiled a new layer of security protection for printers at the McAfee FOCUS 12 conference this week in Las Vegas.

The two companies discussed how McAfee's Embedded Control software – a filtering method that allows only approved programs to get through - will be used by multifunction printers to prevent attacks.

McAfee“When a multifunction device receives data and processes it for printing, copying, scanning or faxing, it becomes susceptible to malware attacks – a risk that often is overlooked,” said Tom Moore, vice president of embedded security at McAfee, in a statement.

The challenge of securing printers has been spotlighted as part of larger conversations about the plethora of connected devices in homes and enterprises. Though they are often overlooked, attackers can find the devices publicly accessible over the Internet, Rick Dastin, president of the Xerox Office and Solutions Business Group, told reporters at the conference Tuesday.

The solution from Xerox and McAfee features software embedded into the multifunction device’s controller to provide an immediate alert and audit trail for tracking and investigating the time and origin of security threats so that action can be taken without IT administrators having to constantly stay on top of malware threats and proactively block them, the companies said in an announcement.

A survey released earlier this year by Xerox and McAfee found that 39 percent of employees who copy, scan or print confidential information at work say they wonder - at least sometimes - whether the information on a networked device will remain secure.

The alert system is akin to having a guard dog in the house that barks when intruders manage to scale the home's walls, Dastin said.

Xerox devices protected and managed by McAfee Embedded Control and McAfee Embedded Management software will be available starting in the first quarter of 2013, officials said. The first products slated to have them will be in the Xerox WorkCentre and ColorQube product lines.

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