Print security trend new opportunity for channel

NEW YORK – Channel partners stand to gain a lucrative market with a recent announcement from Hewlett Packard that it is expanding its secure printing solutions to benefit small and medium sized businesses.

Organizations large and small typically focus on core data systems, servers and PC in their security efforts. Workplace printers, especially network connected printers, are often neglected and left unmanaged because they are often installed independently by departments and keeping tabs of security settings and protocols have become a headache for IT teams. This practice leaves an open door for hackers to access the corporate network.

“Attackers don’t go through a wall, they find a way around it,” said Michal Howard, worldwide security practice lead, for HP’s LaserJet and enterprise solutions group. “If you secure your PCs, why should you not secure your printers which are connected to the network and handle sensitive documents as well?”

At the HP LaserJet Enterprise Solutions conference in here, the company unveiled a line security services and solutions as part of its new HP JetAdvantage of document and printing portfolio. The suite of services, solutions and devices is slated for release in November this year along with training and support opportunities for HP channel partners, according to Ed Wingate, vice-president of solutions, LaserJet and enterprise solutions at HP.

HP will handle the enterprise-focused security advisory services but the new program has an SMB component that will be very attractive to channel players said Wingate.

“We will provide the expertise with regards to the HP Print Security Advisory Services which is aimed at larger enterprise businesses,” he said. “However, we are releasing document security offerings that is ideal for SMB’s and I believe this will be the ideal area for channel partners to focus on.”

HP print security

HP sees print security as a growth market as more and more companies and organizations realize that more complex printers are potential vectors for attack and data breaches. For example, Howard said, a single data breach could amount to as much as $5.4 million in losses for a company and that a recent survey indicated that 90 per cent of companies believe that have had a data breach connected with printing. As much as 65 per cent of these breaches could be traced to employee negligence or mistake and a lack of or failure of IT security policies.

Difficulties of securing corporate printers and document imaging practices can be traced to difficulty in applying policies to a growing fleet of devices, cost and hardships in managing devices.

“I think we will see some VARs (value added resellers) and systems integrators that have been offering document imaging and magment services go into print security management as well,” said Wingate”The HP Imaging and Print Security Security Centre (IPSC) 2.1 tool is something they can offer their customers we’ll have some virtual training available so that VARs and systems integrators can have a deeper conversation on this with their clients.”

HP also integrated its ArcSight security information and event management tool into its new printers. This is another opportunity for channel partners to go into print security management as the solution enables the monitoring and management of print-related security events. The tool will alert IT managenets by showing potential security risk print events in computer dashboard.

HP JetAdvantage will deliver a portfolio of solutions for mobile printing, print security, workflow and printer management.

The new offering includes:

The HP Imaging and Printing Security Center (IPSC) 2.1 – A tool that simplifies security deployment and monitoring for HP printing fleets. It streamlines the tasks of creating IT security policies around secure device communications. This will help organizations reduce security risks and improve compliance with government and industry regulations. IPSC automates the creation of print security policies, addition of devices into the network, assesment of security readiness of devices, remediation of security issues and reviews of results of the remediation action taken

HP Print Security Advisory Services – HP will provide experts that can analyze a company’s print environment, determine weak points and recommend deployment of  security policies and solutions needed to correct these deficiencies

HP LaserJet Enterprise flow multifunction printers, M630 series – This series of MFPs feature a suite of more than 200 embedded security features, document workflow policies for compliance and the HP Trusted Platform Module Accessory for out-of-the-box security.

HP bundled security

For SMBs HP is releasing HP JetAdvantage Pull Print, a free, cloud-based, bundled document security solution.

Traditionally, corporate printing security has been server-based and expensive for many SMBs, according to Wingate. These older systems also required software installation and maintenance as well as extensive training for personnel.

He said JetAdvantage Pull Print allows SMBs to dramatically cut document security cost because there is no need for them to purchase severs or invest in software installs or personnel training.

With Pull Print, users open a free account with HP that allows them to send their documents from PCs or Mac machines to the HP cloud where the data is encrypted. From there the data is passed on to the user company’s HP printers. The user needs to go to the printer and key-in their password in order to select and print the documents only they are authorized to print. The system prevents the possibility of other people viewing printed material they are not authorized to see.

Rounding out the new releases are several solutions geared towards helping customers monitor and managed their printing environment:

HP ArcSight has been extended to include security monitoring of HP’s FutureSmart printing and multifunction devices. It will now have the ability to analyze and correlate print device log events and potential risks situations and alert IT managers via dashboard.

HP Secure Content Management and Monitoring – This solution helps customers reduce the risks of breaches associated with printing, scanning, copying and faxing. By extending HP Autonomy Information Governance tools to monitor and audit all information flowing through the HP multifunction devices.

“We are moving concentrating on the content here,” said Wingate. “I can’t give you the details but through a combination of scanning technology and algorithms this solution can scan through a document and determine of it is a patient record or an ordinary document.”

Once the solution has determined the nature of the document, it can apply pre-set security policies or alert the IT administrator.

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Nestor Arellano
Nestor Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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