Is Your Printer Secure? 5 Ways HP Bites Back

If you saw “The Wolf” a short film series made by HP, you were probably amazed. Amazed to see that a hospital could be hacked through their printer. I definitely was. And now HP is back with some follow-up ads that “bite back”.

These new commercials star Jonathan Banks as “The Fixer”. He is the acclaimed supporting actor who played Mike on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. His no-nonsense, tough character in both the TV shows and the commercials makes him an interesting opponent for The Wolf, played by Christian Slater.

The first videos showed us the vulnerabilities of the financial and healthcare industries. Anything could and did happen at the hands of the Wolf, who effortlessly hacked into a hospital and destroyed a major business deal. All of his deeds and backdoors occurred in the least obvious of places, the print queue. Through printer hacking and print job theft, and a little theatricality, he ruined businesses and (almost) the lives of hospital patients.

Though staged, it was an eye-opener. Imagine if records could be hacked and altered. Patients could be accidentally killed by the doctors caring for them, while their economy toppled. All because of some old printers. Thanks to The Fixer, who actually doesn’t do anything except push around a printer and turn it on, the infrastructure is more safe and secure.

The technology behind the new printers is pretty cool if you ask me. Who would’ve thought that a printer could be so smart? 5 line items really stand out:

HP Sure Start

When you power on or reboot your printer, the BIOS (the start-up firmware on a computer or device) self-heals through the detection of malicious code, and prevents it from running before startup.

HP Connection Inspector

Along with run-time intrusion, this detects attacks and stops them in their tracks, denying outbound requests and forcing a reboot to initiate repairs. It works alongside the Sure Start feature to repair itself after detection.

HP JetAdvantage Security Manager

This printer-fleet management service allows you to ensure compliance and security from all printers in your office and system. It requires all machines to be up to date and registers them all under one management system.

HP Whitelisting

HP wants your printer to work at its full capacity, and be the best it can be. This feature allows only authentic HP code to be loaded into the memory. It also has a feature that requires a reboot if the system is compromised. It notifies IT automatically as well.

HP Managed Print Services

“Let HP manage your print security from device hardening to deploying advanced security solutions to address people, processes and compliance requirements.” This is the hook on HP’s website, describing the things that the Managed print services team can do for your printer fleet.

The takeaway from all this should be this: attacks can come from anywhere. They can even come through your printer. You should be aware, and covering all your bases. Maybe your number of bases just grew a little, that’s great. You can never be too careful.

Oh, and if you want managed services for more than just your printer, check out these amazing IT and Cyber Security managed services.