Your office is vulnerable to a cyber attack and you don’t even know about it. HP, which positions itself as an advocate of security, has pinpointed the vulnerability — printers.
It seems ludicrous to think an entire office could be in danger from a cyber attack through a printer, but HP has done its homework and with the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming more and more prevalent in offices worldwide, the connected printer has become some sort of a backdoor hackers can go through if they please.
Identifying the threat, HP launched a family of A3 printers built to withstand and guard against these attacks.
In case you’re unfamiliar, A3 printers are like all-in-ones. They function not just as printers, but also as copiers and scanners.
Secure the workspace
Security is at the forefront of what drives HP’s efforts. Every day, offices print details from the mundane to the most confidential. The company wants to make sure these files are secure with printers that have built-in security features.
The printers today, connected to the network, are just like computers. And like computers, they are susceptible to attacks. This isn’t something HP just made up. In the “Annual Global IT Security Benchmark Tracking Study,” released by privacy and security body Ponemon Institute back in 2015, it noted that 60 percent of attacks at that point had a printer data breach. Too high a number to ignore.
HP’s printers have four layers of protection. First is HP Sure Start: It validates the integrity of the BIOS code. If the BIOS is compromised, HP defaults to a safe copy of the BIOS.
Next is whitelisting. This ensures that only codes authenticated by HP — those that have not been tampered with — are loaded onto the memory. If the printer detects an anomaly, the device automatically reboots.
HP’s JetAdvantage Security follows it up by checking and fixing any affected device security settings. To round it up, HP has partnered with machine data company Splunk for continuous monitoring that will detect anomalies during complex firmware and memory operations. If there’s an attack, again, the device shuts down and automatically reboots.
The protected printers
All of HP’s Enterprise 600 Series devices are equipped with these security features. Other than the notable security, the printers all offer the latest of HP’s printing technologies. HP Inc.’s Printing Systems General Manager for Asia Pacific and Japan, Ng Tian-Chong, was excited to share how this new line of printers all of have the new JetIntelligence capabilities built in starting at the toner particle level. These devices can wake up out of sleep mode and start their full operation in as fast as nine seconds. Fast, safe, and efficient.
The new line of printers also come with a modern, tablet-like user interface making it easier to navigate the device’s functions.
The devices are also built with easy repair and maintenance in mind. The Enterprise 600 Series are all equipped with sensors and real-time monitoring from Splunk, enabling HP to determine which units actually need onsite repair and which do not, saving both them and their client valuable time and resources.
Extending their market share
Tian-Chong elaborated on HP’s aggressive approach on A3. He said there are two primary big printing segments — A3 and A4. Both have a market of around 55 billion. In A4, they already lead the market share that they built through the years. That is not the case with A3. Their value proposition as they try to gain ground in the market? You guessed it: Security.
Sure, it might cost more now, but Tian-Chong argues spending on security now can help make sure your company continues to exist and prevents a major hacking scandal. The value offered is more for the long term.
Nothing drives the point better than their web series entitled “The Wolf” starring award-winning actor Christian Slater. You’ll get major Mr. Robot feels watching, and HP studios has done a great job using this medium to explain how the vulnerabilities exist and why the printers have to be protected.
Reaching out to governments
From a security standpoint, it was clear that governments had the most to gain from this technology. After all, they hold the most confidential information there could possibly be.
We asked what HP is doing to reach out to governments to introduce this technology, and Managing Director for Southeast Asia, Koh Kong Meng, said they, together with their partners, have had “discussions with cyber security agencies here [Southeast Asia] to educate governments and discuss the risks.”
— GadgetMatch (@gadgetmatch) June 6, 2017
Security, security, security
The whole event for the new printers talked more about security than anything else. Rightfully so, it’s the most compelling selling point of this new line. A quick Google search on “printers hacked” will yield results of actual printer hacking cases. The threat is real and HP wants to address it.
HP’s A3 multifunction printers (MFPs), as well as the 600 Series MFPs that include up to 17 SKUs with 26 available bundles ranging from 50ppm to 75ppm, are now available through qualified channel partners or directly from HP.
An increasingly connected environment also means an environment hackers can exploit. One unprotected device could spell disaster, and this latest effort from HP wants to prevent that disaster.
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Qualcomm drops all charges against Apple
Agrees to new multi-year deal
In just a few weeks, the war for the Iron Throne will finally come to a swift conclusion. However, before that happens, one of the real world’s most intense corporate fights has ended. Earlier today, Qualcomm and Apple have buried the hatchet, ending an eternity’s worth of petty banter and litigious strife. Before its end, the conflict has cost both companies billions of dollars.
Previously, Qualcomm ordered Apple to pay US$ 31 million in damages. The subsequent trials were supposed to determine Apple’s final fees. At the eventual trial, Qualcomm and Apple declared the ceasefire, dismissing all cases worldwide.
Further, both companies have agreed to a new multi-year deal. In Apple’s case, the iPhone maker has agreed to pay off an undisclosed amount of royalties to Qualcomm for six years. On the other hand, Qualcomm has also agreed to provide chipsets for several years. To top it all off, Apple will pay an undisclosed one-time fee.
On paper, the deal seems like a victory for Qualcomm. The chipmaker finally attained its goal: to get royalties from Apple. Before the situation escalated, Qualcomm complained about Apple’s allegedly illegal usage of its chips. Finally, all conflicts have been resolved.
Besides the end of the trials, the resolution can potentially speed up Apple’s production of a 5G-capable iPhone. Without Qualcomm’s help, Apple’s 5G iPhone would have launched between 2020 and 2021. Now, Qualcomm can help Apple achieve this earlier.
Surprisingly, Qualcomm and Apple’s peace treaty has sent shockwaves across the industry. Intel, another player in the 5G race, has suddenly backed out of the 5G smartphone market, leaving the race open for Qualcomm, Samsung, and Huawei.
Foldable phones are not the future, OnePlus CEO says
No plans for a foldable OnePlus anytime soon
Foldable smartphones have dominated the year. Since the start of 2019, smartphone makers have declared their intentions of joining the foldable craze. Samsung, OPPO, Huawei, and Energizer have each announced (or hinted at) their own entries coming later in the year. Undoubtedly, everyone wants to cash in on the market’s latest innovation. Except OnePlus, that is.
In an interview translated from Italian, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed his company’s absence from the foldable craze. While the company has contemplated on a foldable phone before, OnePlus ultimately decided against the idea. Lau believes that the foldable market does not represent the future of smartphones. He cites the device’s high production cost and lack of truly innovative features.
Of course, the high production cost has always been a factor. Currently, the foldable smartphone is the market’s most expensive device. On the other hand, the lack of innovation has only been a sneaking suspicion. Current marketing strategies have hyped the form factor as the next best thing.
However, Lau raises a good point: It adds a lot of uncertainties, particularly the increased weight. Ultimately, a foldable smartphone does not offer anything completely different from regular phone.
At the very least, Lau still recognizes the potential of the foldable screen. Tech companies can still incorporate the new technology into other devices.
Currently, OnePlus is prioritizing the development of a TV that can seamlessly communicate with smartphones. Ultimately, the company is developing ecosystems built around its devices.
As for the smartphone industry, OnePlus is gearing up for a monumental year again. Leaks have already revealed the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro. The company is lining up a slew of smartphones in the future. Just don’t expect a foldable OnePlus device anytime soon.
Google and Huawei forced to pay users for faulty Nexus 6P units
Affected users can get up to US$ 400
In 2017, Google and Huawei entered a bizarre court case. A federal complaint pointed an accusatory finger against both companies for knowingly releasing faulty Nexus 6P units. The flaw involved a device-breaking boot loop issue that affected devices regardless of condition.
The plaintiffs, who were faulty Nexus 6P users, demanded an immediate product recall and restitution for affected users. According to the complaint, Google allegedly knew of the flaw but continued to sell the defective product anyway. Finally, after years of deliberation, the court is hurtling the case to its definitive end. On May 9, the Texas court, where the case was filed, will approve the final decision against Google and Huawei.
However, before this event, Google and Huawei have agreed to pay the plaintiffs and any other affected users. If approved, both companies are liable for up to US$ 9.75 million in damages. When spread out among the payees, affected users will get up to US$ 400, especially those with proper documentation. Those without documentation can get only up to US$ 75. Likewise, those who received a new Pixel XL in a related warranty exchange program can get only up to US$ 10.
Currently, the court case includes only users who purchased a Nexus 6P on or after September 25, 2015. However, the court still hasn’t issued a conclusion. Before the May event, anything can affect the outcome. Regardless, the court’s decision is a huge step for a smartphone user’s grievances, despite staying in limbo for years. Recently, dissatisfied users have grown braver, filing court cases against companies across the United States.
If anything, the delay is also a strategy for companies. To get the maximum payment, users must have kept the faulty unit for several years. The Nexus 6P was released in 2015. Since then, Google has discontinued the Nexus line, moving on to the Pixel.
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