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.
[irp posts=”11673″ name=”HP’s new line puts premium on office productivity”]
Nokia is suing Amazon and HP
For using video-related technologies
Nokia isn’t just a company for smartphones. The company is also responsible for several technologies across the industry. As surprising as it is for regular consumers to discover Nokia’s effect on this industry, it’s also quite a shock to discover how many companies are currently stepping on the Finnish company’s toes. Nokia is currently suing Amazon and HP for infringing on several patents.
As confirmed by Arvin Patel, Nokia’s Chief Licensing Officer, Nokia is going ahead with cases against Amazon for “the unauthorized use of Nokia’s video-related technologies in its streaming services and devices.” The case involves technologies that Amazon used for Prime Video including video compression and content delivery. Amazon has not specifically explained the intricate workings of these technologies.
HP is also under fire for using other video-related technologies. Amazon is much more mum about HP’s use of the patented technologies. However, the announcement confirms that HP relies heavily on these technologies in their current lineup of products and services.
Nokia does say that litigation was not its first choice. However, the lack of an amicable resolution between these two companies necessitated the legal case.
Neither Amazon nor HP have responded to what they think of the ongoing legal pursuits against them.
China accuses the United States of hacking into Huawei
For years, the American government hounded Chinese companies for allegedly giving China an easy backdoor into the United States. The allegations don’t normally happen from the other way around, though. Today is different. The Chinese government has accused the United States of hacking into Huawei servers since 2009.
It’s an uncommon turn of events. In a Weibo post (via Nikkei Asia), China’s Ministry of State Security claimed that it discovered evidence of American hackers breaking into Chinese servers.
According to the post, the U.S. government’s Office of Tailored Access Operations used spyware to access Huawei’s servers since 2009. The spyware involved was called Second Date, a piece of spyware that was, according to the Chinese post, “developed by the U.S. National Security Agency.”
The spyware was partially discovered by Qihoo 360, an agency investigating American-led hacking attacks against China. The mere discovery, however, does not include explicit references to Huawei as a target.
China’s retaliation against the United States is slowly ramping up. Recently, the Chinese government started banning its officials from using iPhones for work. A wider ban might even be in the works.
For the United States, the American government is also investigating Huawei once again. After the surprising launch of the Mate 60 series, the government is interested to see how the Chinese company can still make smartphones without American technology.
Microsoft was planning to buy Nintendo
Plans were as recent as 2020
For months, Microsoft found itself in a broiling tub of hot water. The American government is investigating whether the company’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard stifles competition in the industry. Though the results of the court proceedings are still unknown, a newly released document has revealed much more about Microsoft’s plans to further dominate the industry.
Documents releasing left and right are no longer new. Since Microsoft took the stand months ago, both sides in the matter have released documents to corroborate their claims. These releases are casting a light onto information that the company never wanted to make public in the first place.
Today, a new document (via The Verge) reveals that Microsoft’s Phil Spencer recently expressed desire to acquire Nintendo in the future. In an email between him and two marketing executives, Spencer writes that “Nintendo is THE prime asset for us in Gaming.”
The 2020 email thread is simply titled “random thought.” As such, it’s unlikely that the thread represents any official move to acquire Nintendo. However, the contents of the thread reveal that it’s more than just a passing interest.
Apparently, a former member of the company’s board of directors was heavily acquiring shares from Nintendo. Spencer is keeping in touch with the buyer and waiting for prime opportunities to bridge the two companies. It’s a long-term strategy. “I don’t think a hostile action would be a good move, so we are playing the long game,” he writes.
Acquiring Nintendo is certainly a bold move for Microsoft. However, it is unknown whether the CEO is still contemplating on the move today, especially since the company is under the microscope for anti-competitive practices and acquisitions.
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