HP updates Access Control, helps channel sell to SMBs

BOISE, ID. — Hewlett Packard Co. (HP) is ramping up security for printers with an update to its Access Control solution – and an entry-level version is available to small businesses through the channel.

While HP Access Control was traditionally more geared towards enterprise customers, there is also an opportunity for channel partners to sell to small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) with version 13.0 of Access Control, said Jason Carney, partner development manager at HP. He was speaking to a group of journalists during HP’s media tour on Nov. 13, held at the company’s campus in Boise, Id.

An express bundle for SMBs, allowing them to set passwords and monitor past print jobs, is also available. It will also allow them to set up a pull printing policy, meaning employees will not be able to print until they physically go to a printer and release a print job with some form of authentication, like a password or employee badge. SMBs can access the bundle through HP’s resellers and channel partners.

The latest version of Access Control now supports new full devices, and it also provides multi-vendor support. Not only does it work with HP printers, but it’s been extended to printers by Lexmark International Inc. and Xerox Corp. It also comes with an external controller for third-party products. Access Control 13.0 will be available on Nov. 15.

“We want everyone to print all day long with HP, but under certain settings, we don’t,” Carney said, adding nowadays, there are a lot of risks with using multi-function printers.

For example, there are so many areas where companies store their data – it’s sent over the network, it’s stored on a printer, it’s printed on a hard copy, it’s accessible through a printer’s control panel, and it’s kept on mobile devices.

Then there are situations where employees are either careless, or they haven’t been properly educated in keeping data secure when they go to print documents. Sometimes employees will go print a document, and then they’ll completely forget about it – a practice Carney called “print and sprint.”

“Just by walking around a campus, I can probably find things like birthday invitations, personal document … or when people run off, I can find stuff on site I shouldn’t be seeing, like someone’s paystub,” he said.

“There’s lots of data, but there’s also lots of risk for security … I want to bring in complexity, but I want to do it for the right reason.”

The key is to protect data in four different areas – first, off of the physical device. HP printers come with more than 100 embedded security settings, which IT administrators can configure as necessary for their environments.

Then there’s a need to protect physical documents, especially legal ones. That might mean locking up access to certain parts of a printer, like a paper tray. In government offices where employees might need to print death certificates, it’s important no one else can gain access to commit fraud. That might also come in handy in universities, preventing students from printing off their own diplomas, Carney said.

Then of course, IT administrators need to look out for data on their servers. Finally, they need to monitor and manage all of that. If they use HP printers, they can use Webjet Admin to manage the entire fleet, Carney added.

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