Security Experts:

HP Launches Secure Enterprise Printers

Hewlett-Packard this week announced the roll-out of new enterprise-grade LaserJet printers and multi-functional printers (MFPs) fitted with additional security features designed to prevent malicious attacks from breaching a company’s network.

According to HP, the release of the new secure printers is part of its strategy to secure printers used in enterprise environments with technologies similar to those used on computers, given that they represent a potential security gap on enterprise networks. 

HP Secure Printers

Printers are known to have vulnerabilities that allow attackers to breach business’ networks, and HP cites a Ponemon Institute report claiming that 56 percent of enterprises actually overlook printers in their endpoint security strategy. The same survey also showed that 64 percent of IT managers believe their printers are likely infected by malware. 

Set to become available in October and November of this year, HP LaserJet Enterprise M506, HP LaserJet Enterprise MFP M527, and HP Color LaserJet Enterprise MFP M577 series printers are meant to address these security gaps with new built-in security features, HP says. 

The new LaserJet printers come with HP Sure Start, built in software designed to detect malicious BIOS attacks, while also including “self-healing” capabilities. Should any modification to the printer’s BIOS be detected, the feature reboots the device and loads a clean copy of the BIOS.

The printers also come with Run-time Intrusion Detection, a feature that includes in-device memory monitoring to prevent malicious attacks. Additionally, they offer support for whitelisting, which enables enterprises to load and execute only good firmware on a printer, HP said.

HP also included these printers with FutureSmart Firmware, so that companies can upgrade them on schedule, while also offering a consistent user interface and menu design across all supported devices. 

Additional security features in HP’s new printers include HP JetAdvantage Security Manager, HP Access Control, authentication options such as PIN, PIC, and HP proximity cards, HP JetAdvantage Security Manager that allows IT admins close ports, disable access protocols and erase files, and HP Instant-On Security, which checks and resets settings that are not in line with the company’s policies. 

According to HP, all these security features will be included from the start in all future HP LaserJet Enterprise printers and OfficeJet Enterprise X printers with HP PageWide Technology. Moreover, several HP LaserJet Enterprise printers available since April can leverage HP Sure Start, Whitelisting and Run-time Intrusion Detection via a firmware upgrade, while some HP LaserJet Enterprise printers and OfficeJet Enterprise X printers launched since 2011 can receive the last two features.

“Protecting against security breaches is one of the biggest challenges our customers face,” said Tuan Tran, vice president and general manager, LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions business, HP. “HP is helping customers secure their devices, documents and data by defending our enterprise printers with the strongest protection in the industry.”

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