HP Exec: It's Time Partners Wise Up To The Grave Printer Security Threat

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With cybersecurity breaches at an all-time high and less than 2 percent of business printers secure, it's time for solution providers to aggressively move customers to what HP is calling the world's most secure printers, said HP Director of U.S. Commercial Print John Tate.
Security breaches were up 40 percent in 2016, and that number will inevitably increase even more this year, said Tate in an executive briefing session at the 2017 Best of Breed (BoB) conference during the session titled, "How Printers Can Expose Your Endpoint Security Strategy."
"Seventy-one percent of all breaches start from an endpoint," said Tate, noting Nest thermostats, internet-connected appliances, Fitbits and, of course, printers are all vulnerable to attacks. "All of these things are endpoint devices that make your network susceptible to breaches …Printers are not an exception."
The consulting firm Ponemon Institute found that 60 percent of IT managers believe they had a printer data breach and 53 percent of IT managers realize printers are vulnerable to cybercrime. 
"The shocking thing is very few are taking action," said Tate. "How many of you have yellowing printers that have been there for years?"
Only 18 percent of IT decision makers are concerned about printers, while 91 percent are concerned about PC devices, said Tate. 
That lack of concern on printers is a big problem given that both printers and PCs have BIOSes and firmware,  network connectivity with internet and email access and hard drives on both devices, said Tate.
HP has identified nine vulnerable printer areas: BIOS and Firmware, Management, Network, Hard Drive, Control Panel, Capture, Input tray, Output tray and Mobile printing.
HP has responded to the printer security threat with a massive innovation offensive that includes extensive security features on all HP 500 and 600 commercial enterprise products including HP SureStar BIOS protection; HP whitelisting firmware; HP runtime intrusion detection, which keeps printer memory safe, and HP JetAdvantage Security manager software.
HP is also set to ship in the next several months its HP Connection Inspector – an embedded security feature available via a firmware update that aims to prevent rogue malware attacks with artificial intelligence capabilities.
The security threat at the endpoint is going to get even worse in an internet of things world with more than 25 billion devices expected to be connected to networks, said Tate. "It is huge, and it is going to keep growing," he said. "We are entering an unprecedented age of hacking."
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