HP Tackles Print Security

In a world that contains billions of connected devices, security breaches are as common as Tim Hortons up here in Canada (Starbucks for you USA readers). As we’ve discussed many times on WeeklyTechUpdate, in this day and age you should probably assume that any personal data you enter online will be viewed by someone that isn’t authorized at some point due to a security breach. The thing is, it shouldn’t be this way.



HP has been around for many years and their ideals are branded into their original logo “HP Invent”. While the “invent” has been dropped from the logo, it hasn’t been abandoned in their mindset. HP is a $52 billion company that builds a huge number of consumer and commercial PCs and has the lion’s share of the market when it comes to print.

What this means is two-fold. 1) They are an incredibly successful company that knows that they are doing. 2) Their products are under more scrutiny than other companies because hackers usually want the largest target possible.

Knowing that all internet connected devices have a proverbial target on their back is one thing but committing to do something about it is another. HP has fully committed themselves to security with their customers in mind. To best protect from data breaches and hacking though, you need to think with the mind of a hacker. In 2017, Michael Calce (MafiaBoy) became involved in HP Secure, to analyze and ensure that the “holes are plugged” on end-point hardware solutions.

Even to this day, there are security vulnerabilities that pop up - and there will always be. Software is complicated, machines are complex, and the requirements of corporate environments are changing all the time. All this makes for a challenging playground to monitor for any company.

HP does have a few tools and tricks up their sleeve that helps them be pro-active and enables them to respond quickly. There are several security solutions that exist on the print platform including HP Sure Start, Whitelisting, Run-Time Intrusion Detection and this can be managed and monitored through HP’s JetAdvantage Security Management.



Sure Start keeps the BIOS of the machine safe and if, during boot up, there is any change that doesn’t hash with a known BIOS, the device will reboot and flash a copy of a “Golden BIOS” that is stored in the machine to return things to a default, uncompromised state. In addition to boot-up detection, the Run-Time Intrusion Detection constantly monitors for changes made to the device. Of course, there will need to be updates to firmware and changes along the way, and that is where their Whitelisting is helpful. Changes and BIOS updates will be allowed from authorized sources only. While much of this technology is hands-off, there will be times to setup, deploy and manually confirmed these devices. HP JetAdvantage Security Manager is used here to control not only a single printer, but just as easily a whole fleet of printers in the enterprise environment.

Most companies don’t see printers as a security threat as many people treat it purely as an output device. The fact is that an enterprise printer has a BIOS, an OS, a hard drive and probably runs services that include a web server, FTP server and more. People invest time, money, energy and tailor-made software to protect the PC, but most ignore the printer. HP sees this and has invested heavily in reducing the threat.

Time has shown that HP isn’t perfect, but the same time has also shown that they are way ahead of the curve and have set the bar for other companies to try and reach. At this point, they are miles ahead of any competition and it is with great pride that they claim to offer “World’s Most Secure Printing” platform. The goal is to secure the device, secure the data and finally secure the document. In the end, this is up to individual users, but HP gives you the ability and to tools to make it happen. Now, it’s up to you.

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