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Printer security to be part of government policy guidelines: HP India

HP India is asking policy makers to include printer security as part of the government policy guidelines to make workplace secure.


In February 2017, thousands of printers in restaurants around the world churned out bizarre pictures of computers and giant robots, because of a hack performed by a secondary school student in Britain. The hack was undertaken as a public service to demonstrate the ease of breach and threat the non-secure printers pose to cyber security around the globe.


In view of the rising cyber security threats, Raj Kumar Rishi, senior director, Printing Systems, HP India elaborated on how a non-secure multi-function printer can fall prey to hackers and break into an organization’s network to steal confidential information.


"There is a need to include printer security as part of the government policy guidelines and recognize them as a vital network end point that is critical to the IT managers worldwide," added Rishi.


He further emphasized on the need to move from compliant IT security to comprehensive IT security, taking into consideration BYOD practice and securing mobile device access to the network.


In the recent years, nearly 92% companies have reported security breaches leading to financial as well as reputation loss, of which nearly 60% took place due to a faulty printer in the company’s network. Such breaches have given way to identity theft and cyber espionage.


Further emphasizing on the need of a secure printer, Raj Kumar Rishi spoke about the importance of upgrading a printer’s firmware on regular intervals, lack of which can lead to a hack in its system code and compromise it in accepting malicious lines of code. That code can then be used by the hacker to get access to print jobs and to the user’s computer where the print job was initiated.


HP now offers various secure features like HP Sure Start, HP Future Smart Firmware, HP Jet Advantage Secure and Private Print to prevent exposure of sensitive documents and unauthorized access to the printer and the print jobs.


HP offers secure Managed Print Services through which they offer secure printers that are pre-configured for security. This is to prevent outside networks from hacking into the printer using these lesser used ports added Rishi.