HP Printer Security
We all know at some point or another have had that talk about security. When we have had those conversations it’s mostly about web security, identifying phishing emails, and anti-viruses. What we don’t regularly talk about is print security. Although we are constantly pushing towards paperless solutions printers are still a critical part of daily operations. This is a huge area of vulnerability that is very much left unprotected or very lacks protection. An HP survey done found that 69% of didn’t have anti-malware software running on their printers.
Vulnerabilities of printers
HP has run several polls and surveys into what business is doing to protect their printers and have found some results that you might find shocking. The survey found that only 51% of businesses had a formal print-security policy. 54% of businesses didn’t have an accurate inventory that included all print devices and 50% didn’t conduct security risk analysis before deploying a printer. This may sound like not a huge until you consider that the modern printer is very advanced. Today’s printer is like a minicomputer with some running their very own OS. These printers are also connected to your networks meaning that if they become compromised attackers can gain access to data on your network.
The survey also found that out of 1.2 million printers tested 55% of them were behind on security patches. Part of keeping your network safe involves keeping machines on your network up to date. The problem is that when people think of the machines on their network they think about PC and laptops that employees are working on and neglect their printers. Just like with computer security patches that keep your machine up to date with how to identify threats. Printer patches do the same for a printer, you would never allow an employee to use a machine with an out of date patch why let your printers do the same.
Next, we jump to what the survey found out about software running on printers and their configurations of the networks they were connected to. As mention at the top in the introduction 69% of the survey businesses didn’t have anti-malware software running on their printers. This is an alarmingly high number of businesses. You would never let an employee connect to your network with a computer that didn’t have and anti-malware software. Anti-malware software protects you from many threats that seek to infiltrate your system and steal your data and sometimes holds your data ransom. Why not protect the printers that also have access to that same data.
Additionally, the survey found that many businesses retain default security settings on their printers. You may wonder why this is a problem well it’s because by default many of the ports the printers use are open. This is because it allows you to control what is going to stay open what will be locked and how they are going to be set up and protected. 60% of the companies surveyed didn’t apply their user password policies to their printer. These password policies are put in place to make it harder to crack your passwords. Why not extend that to all the machines on the network. Half of the companies surveyed used a generic admin account to manage their printers. This means that login is passed around from person to person and if someone leaves, they have that login. Leaving you vulnerable to that account login being leaked.
Finally, they found that 86% of the businesses didn’t encrypt sensitive print data while it was being sent. This means that if this data was intercepted it can easily be tampered with and cause a breach. It also found that 85% of companies didn’t enable print logs. This means that when a user successfully or unsuccessfully attempts to log in it is recorded. Having a record of who has logged in and who tried to allows you to track if an outside source has tried to gain access. Using this allows you to analyze any vulnerabilities your network might have and if other parts of your network are vulnerable.
The HP Printer Security difference
Now that we have looked at what HP’s printer security survey has revealed let’s look at HP’s printer security. HP printers have the industry’s strongest security and the pillars of that strength are HP sure Start, Whitelisting, JetAdvantage security manager, and Run-time intrusion detection. With these four pillars HP printer provide the industry’s strongest security, so let’s look at them.
First, we have HP’s Sure Start it checks the BIOS to see if it has been tampered with. The BIOS is a critical part of any computer system. It is the first thing that starts up it controls the firmware and controls how data is sent back and forth from programs to the firmware. The firmware of computers and the physical chips located on the motherboard. When this is BIOS is compromised an attacker can have programs run even before your anti-malware software has even started. The BIOS is found on a layer underneath the OS making it very difficult to deal with a breach at this level. Sure Start scans the BIOS and when tampering is detected boots your computer up from a secondary copy of your BIOS that is stored.
Next, HP printers also run addition run-time intrusion detection that checks memory activity, and a special check for when complex firmware and memory operations are being done by the printer. It also runs a connection inspector that doesn’t allow malicious software to connect to outside servers. It also scans any outgoing network connections and stops suspicious requests. This run-time detection software can also automatically trigger the self-healing reboot present in HP printers.
First, we have Whitelisting, this is a security check that is done while your printer is running. It checks to see if the code that coordinates your printer’s functions, its controllers, and security hasn’t been tampered with. When it detects changes or anomalies in the code it reboots the m printer and starts it on an offline mode and sends a message to your IT. While it is a check it’s major purpose to recover quickly once something has been changed.
Finally, we come to Jet Advantage Security Manager an additional separate software. This is an additional print security software that can be run after a reboot occurs. It can asses and repair device security settings that might have been damaged. Additionally, it can also be set so that it restores to your company’s security policies. Also, it can notify your administrators of security actions it has taken thorough SEIM tools like ArcSight, Splunk, and SEIMonster.
Powerland Carries a variety of HP printers that fit all sizes of organization. Contact us to learn more about our great Managed Print Services or Security Services. To get started contact us online using the online form below or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will happily redirect you to the correct Managed Print Service or Security representative that meets your needs.