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[HP’s Fall Product Launch 1/2]: new Security Features and Services

HP announced in Barcelona on Sept 22nd its new autumn product range, but it encapsulated this announcement within a strong statement headed “The world’s most secure printers” and with the tag line “defend your network”.

This was one of the first announcements post the split of HP into two companies, and the new HP Inc. is looking at consolidating and building on its position as a the market leading supplier of printers, PCs and servers.

It is really looking at leveraging this large portfolio of equipment and promising its clients a consistent approach. From an analyst perspective, they are ideally positioned to do so as they bring a solid IT credibility, a wide range of connected devices (from servers to printers) as well as expertise from the multiple areas of the business.

 

The importance of security was leveraged in two steps.

First Printer security is now important, as the devices have become on/off ramps for document workflows. To do so, they are really like a PC with a printing engine attached to it.  The similarity comes from these new (in a printer that is) elements such as built-in keyboard, OS, memory, multiple Telecommunications protocols and direct wire or wireless network access).

Second, the methodical approach to security, similar to that in PCs, is not fully exploited by current devices, even if they have some security features. So HP is claiming that its achievement is to have addressed in its new hardware all elements of the security chain that go on such a device. This is executed and presented in a very methodical approach, comprising three key elements.

  1. HP Sure Start. Checks the integrity of BIOS at start up, and provides a self-healing capability, using a ‘golden copy’ of the BIO, which is stored in a secure area
  2. HP Secure White listing. This ensures that the device loads only ’known good firmware’.
  3. HP Run-time Intrusion Detection. Provides constant in-device monitoring for malicious attacks. Devices under attack are highlighted to HP ArcSight.

The Future Smart programme makes the second two features available on devices sold since 2010 – this is not possible with HP Sure Start, as that requires a modification of the hardware.

On top of the device features, HP announced HP JetAdvantage Security Manager, which was billed as the industry’s first policy-based print security compliance tool.  This enables customers to create a security policy and set up a process to manage security throughout the product life-cycle, starting with addition of devices to the network, and including device assessment, remediation where necessary, and certification. This provides a framework for HP and channel partners to offer a chargeable security service to customers, including security audits and implementation of security protocols, which gives the potential for significant additional revenue streams. The main limitation is that this is designed to work with HP devices only, so for customers with mixed fleets, another approach will be required to take care of their non-HP devices. However, HP did also say that they hoped, with these announcements, to lead a broader industry move towards heightened security, and that other manufacturers would introduce similar services.

In this 2nd part, discover how important commercially is security.

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This article was written on 28 Sep 2015, and is filled under Event.

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