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.
US government will be banned from using Huawei and ZTE tech
Not a total ban, though
The president of the United States has just imposed a major ban against two Chinese tech giants, Huawei and ZTE, from working with the US government. The ban is a component of the Defense Authorization Act which US President Donald Trump has just signed after months of discussions.
We first heard news about the bill earlier this month followed by reports of Huawei spying on people and ZTE getting banned after getting accused of selling merchandise to US rivals. The fiasco hindered Huawei phones from getting sold through US carriers. ZTE, on the other hand, was saved by Trump as confirmed by his tweet.
In the end, though, both Chinese companies now have the same fate. The US Congress worked on a measure that will essentially ban the US government and soon-to-be allies from using components and availing services from Huawei, ZTE, and a number of other Chinese communications companies.
The ban, which will go into effect over the next two years, doesn’t completely cut the ties of the US with Huawei and ZTE. The Chinese companies are not allowed to be part of any “essential” or “critical” systems of the US government, but they can still work with the US government as long as they will not be used to route or view data.
Huawei is not happy about the ban, of course, and calls it a “random addition” to the defense bill which is “ineffective, misguided, and unconstitutional.” The company also said that the ban will increase cost for consumers and businesses.
Via: The Verge
Samsung falls to less than one percent market share in China
Might pull out of Chinese market by next year
Recently, Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 9 to worldwide acclaim. Ironically, despite the positive response, the company is still slogging through one of its most dismal years to date. Previously, the Galaxy S9 opened to tepid, abysmal sales.
Now, with the dawn of more capable competitors, Samsung is falling more drastically than ever before. Formerly a stalwart in China, the company has now fallen to less than one percent market share in one of the world’s biggest markets.
Just a few years ago, Samsung’s phones captured a comfortable market share lead at 20 percent. The huge lead accurately represented Samsung’s grip on the market at the time.
However, with the recent developments (or lack thereof), the balance of power is steadily shifting. This year, gigantic (but more affordable) outings from smaller companies — Huawei, OnePlus, OPPO, Xiaomi — have taken the market by storm.
Besides the downpour of competitive rivals, Samsung has cited the decline of the smartphone market at large as a reason. From the lack of revolutionary features, adoption and upgrade rates have declined, causing an overall plateauing of phone sales.
According to Reuters, Samsung is considering drastic measures to alleviate the slump in sales. Most radically, the company might pull out of the Chinese market entirely.
Specifically, the plan affects Samsung’s Tianjin factory in Northern China. On its own, the facility manufactures 36 million phones per year. Additionally, Samsung has other plants nearby in Huizhou and Vietnam.
Currently, Samsung officials have yet to decide on the Chinese market’s ultimate fate. However, the pull-out is still a tempting move to improve efficiency.
Regardless, Samsung will remain as a global powerhouse even if it withdraws from the Chinese market. If anything, the move will dictate the company’s (and its Chinese competitors’) trajectory for the future.
Besides Samsung, Apple has also fared similarly, bowing out to Chinese brands in multiple markets.
EU might force Apple to abandon the Lightning cable
Voting yes for a USB-powered iPhone
Recently, the EU has gone on a mass crusade against the world’s biggest tech firms. To the benefit of the region’s consumers, the European Commission is trying to create a universally competitive industry.
In 2009, the EU has urged tech firms to create a more universal standard for smartphone charging. At the time, fourteen companies including Apple and Samsung signed the pledge.
However, as you can probably guess, these efforts fell terribly flat. Companies have still segmented the industry into a plethora of charger options — micro-USB, USB Type-C, and Lightning, for starters.
Irked by the lack of results, EU Commissioner of Competition Margrethe Vestager has taken matters into her own hands. The Commission is researching if additional regulations can rescue the industry.
Currently, the EU is concerned over the rising number of wasted chargers and cables. Because of the different standards, users are forced to shelve their old cables to accommodate phone upgrades.
Among the affected companies, Apple has created the most disparity. Notoriously, the company has stuck with its own exclusive cables. Whereas its competitors have relied on USB standards, Apple has used FireWire, the dock connector, and the Lightning cable.
Apple’s exclusivity creates an advantageous but unfair revenue stream for the company. Users are forced to source their cables from the company directly (or indirectly through licensed products).
As such, any future EU regulations will likely affect Apple the most. From a consumer’s standpoint, Apple switching to USB will please users the most.
Even without the regulation, a USB-powered iPhone is still plausible. Previously, Apple had already considered a break from Lightning before releasing the iPhone X.
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