Xerox Taps McAfee For Printer Security

Xerox plans to incorporate McAfee-developed security technology in its multifunction printers and other Internet-enabled products to prevent hackers from running malware on the devices.

The office-equipment manufacturer will license McAfee's technology, which creates a security layer between the processor and the software stack to detect when malware is trying to tap system resources.

Xerox is adding the McAfee technology to its own security mechanisms in order to defend against the growing sophistication of cyber-criminals, according to Larry Kovnat, senior manager of product security at Xerox. Where most malware is installed in the operating system to access applications, hackers are finding ways to get underneath the OS, where malicious code is harder to detect.

"We want to stay ahead of any potential new exploits," Kovnat said Wednesday.

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While declining to provide a product road map, Kovnat said Xerox's multifunction printers, which include a copy and fax machine in one unit, will be among the first products to ship with McAfee's technology. The new security system will only allow a "white list" of Xerox-approved applications to run in a device.

The deal reflects McAfee's push from its traditional PC security market into other devices. While PCs remain the dominant location for McAfee technology, the company sees a much larger potential market in Internet-connected embedded devices, such as printers, ATMs and set-top boxes. McAfee, which is owned by Intel, is also targeting mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

For manufacturers like Xerox, having tight security in products is an important feature to have when selling to businesses.