A short film produced by HP comically illustrates the fact that there are a lot more things to consider when creating a secure network for your company and shows that cyber threats can come from anywhere.
No, this isn’t about a geeky fan remake of a Leonardo DiCaprio film. It’s actually about an actual short film series called The Wolf starring Christian Slater (Archer, Mr. Robot, True Romance, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), who plays a hacker who first targets a major corporation in the financial industry, and in the sequel, he preys on a large health records company. It’s directed by Lance Acord (Lost In Translation, Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are).
The most interesting part? It’s produced by none other than your desktop printer brand. That’s right, Hewlett Packard. They have a division called HP Studios that works to produce their commercials, most of which are very well done. The studio has turned from regular commercials to seven-minute videos about hacking printers. And it works.
Watch the first installment in the series here.
You might not have pictured HP as a security company, and you might not have ever considered a printer to be more than a machine that puts stuff on paper. You might not even use a printer much. But hopefully, you have a changed opinion after this video. And besides making a name for himself in the film industry, Slater has blazed the trail for HP to move from a printer manufacturer to a forerunner in the cyber security industry. Hopefully, you remember what they are trying to say.
This isn’t a promotional post for HP. The concept they illustrate, however, is exactly what we are trying to promote: that cyber security isn’t just about a strong password. There are so many facets to it, and each one should be carefully considered when trying to keep a company and its data secure.
Data centers, hospitals, financial institutions, all of these and more have high tech cyber security that is required by law to protect its clients and their information. They have key card access, passwords, SSL certificates, and have to comply with PCI, HIPAA, and other regulations. As the film showed, once a vulnerability is located, lots of loopholes can be found and exploited, making the once secure data become very exposed.
Malware-safe printers might be a great idea, but the data breach could’ve been stopped at a myriad of other instances in the video. If the email filter was better, the spam message might not have come. If Network monitoring had been more proactive, they might’ve noticed the unusual activity during the night of employee machines, or irregular access to sensitive files. A secure printer is a good idea, but it’s only part of the best practice or covering all the bases, and using all methods to correctly secure your information.
Imagine your data, housed in a data center that is supposedly secure, getting compromised because of a printer, or because the network and systems weren’t constantly monitored for unexpected and irregular activity. Then imagine the peace of mind knowing that your systems were safe and secure, monitored 24/7, proactively checked for bugs and vulnerabilities, with constant hardware maintenance and replacement. Seems like the only way you can protect yourself from Christian Slater.
And if you haven’t already watched it yet, here’s the second installment in the series for your viewing pleasure: