Printer Security: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You

Bouncer

Network security is top of mind for IT decision makers today. While 90% of organizations report having suffered at least one data loss through unsecured printing, most enterprises have overlooked printing devices in their security strategy.

I sat down with Steve Daniels (HP Commercial Business Development Manager) to discuss the most common printer security vulnerabilities and what top channel partners are doing to keep their customer’s networks safe.

Jennings Tinsley: “Security is a top priority for CIOs, but printers are often left out of the security conversation. Why is printer security overlooked?”

Steve Daniels: “Printers tend to be thought of as ancillary or peripheral to “intelligent devices”. In particular medium to small organizations will view printers as “just a box”. But the truth is that printers today have the same characteristics as other devices on the network. Printers have an operating system, a hard drive, software, and an internet connection so they operate much like a PC. Think of printers as devices that traffic in confidential information and are open to the same security risks as PCs. Organizations who are taking security seriously are treating networked printers as equal citizens on the corporate network.”

JT: “What is the most common type of printer security breach? What is a quick change organizations can make to improve printer security today?”

SD: “The most common security threat is surprisingly simple. People picking up documents from the output tray that were intended for somebody else. We have all been there. You walk up to the printer and find a stack of pages somebody else printed but forgot to pick up. The documents people print are current and important. When you have a sensitive environment like healthcare, financial services or government agencies, those documents getting in the wrong hands could mean regulatory or legal trouble. The quickest way to protect information en route to a printer is to implement what’s called pull printing (also known as PIN printing). Pull printing will require the user to type in a code or scan a badge to verify their identity before the print job is released.”

JT: “The Target security breach ultimately resulted in hundreds of millions in damages and the resignation of its CEO. Can you give examples of how unsecured printers have impacted organizations?”

SD: “We have seen printer security breaches come in many forms. What is becoming more prevalent now is unauthorized access from remote devices or ‘sniffers’ attached to network cables. People who really want a way into the network will find a way through an unsecured printer or the HVAC system in Target’s case. While we can’t reference anything as high profile as Sony or Target, we can link several instances of regulatory violations (HIPPA and SEC) to unprotected printers connected to corporate networks.”

(after posting I was made aware of a recent large scale printer hack at several universities)

JT: “What is the best way to begin the conversation with a customer about secure print?”

SD: “I start with “Tell me about your organization’s printer security policy?” You are likely to get blank stares. In a recent study, nearly 90% of enterprises say they have suffered at least one data loss through unsecured printing. Pointing out this statistic will get your customer thinking seriously about which vulnerabilities may be lurking among their printing devices. When the customer recognizes that printers are equal citizens on the network, they will want to take steps to introduce security protocols on every device.”

JT: “HP talks about being 3 to 5 years ahead of its competitors when it comes to printer security. Can you talk about HP’s secure print differentiators?”

SD: “In the past few months HP brought to market 3 key features that give us a solid competitive advantage when it comes to printer security. All three of these features come standard on every new enterprise class device. The security features include HP Sure Start, Whitelisting and Run-time Intrusion Detection. Sure Start is a BIOS protection that validates the BIOS at every boot cycle. Whitelisting validates the firmware to ensure only known-good HP code is present. Run-Time intrusion detection looks for anomalies during complex firmware and memory operations. If an attack occurs, it shuts down the device and reboots.

HP offers a free security assessment for customer who want to know if their printer fleet has vulnerabilities. The Quick Assess takes about 1 hour and covers up to 20 HP printers or MFPs. At the end of the assessment the customer gets a risk report showing what percentage of devices are vulnerable and recommendations for how to address.”

To view a replay of SYNNEX/HP’s print security webinar CLICK HERE

To schedule an HP Quick Assess, contact the SYNNEX HP Business Development team: hpipg@synnex.com

Differentiate Your Printer Proposal With Cost Per Page

“Can you recommend a printer that’s not quite as expensive?”

How often have you heard that from price sensitive customers? Too often buyers make the mistake of only considering upfront acquisition costs. The true costs of printing lies in buying ink and toner for the life of the machine. When customers don’t understand their cost per page, and go for the cheaper machine, they’re probably wasting money in the long run.

This is an opportunity for you to bring valuable insights to your next printer deal. Even if you’re NOT selling a managed print contract, your customer will thank you for going the extra mile to save them money.

Next time you come across the upfront costs focused customer ask these 3 questions:

  • What is your average monthly page volume? Your customer may not keep track of this information. Ask them to estimate by machine how many pages are printed each month.
  • What is the breakdown between black & white and color pages? Obviously color ink/toner is more expensive.
  • Which models are you considering? Lets get a full understanding of the competitive landscape.

When you have answers to these 3 simple questions you can build out a Total Cost of Ownership model. The HP Business Development at SYNNEX has tools to help you with cost per page. Armed with this information, you’re proposal will be a notch above the rest. Below is a TCO model I put together for a reseller partner this morning comparing a Dell MFP to the HP Officejet Pro X 576dw:

 

TCO

 

SYNNEX HP Business Development, Printer and Supplies:

Jennings Tinsley: 864-349-4784

Liz Kinney: 864-373-7378

How to Use My HP Sales Guide (and Why eIRG Went Away)

You have a tool you love. Its the first program you load every morning when you boot up your computer. You know how to quickly find what you’re looking for – the content is in a aesthetically pleasing, easy to use format. Life is good.

But suddenly that tool is replaced by a clunky, less robust resource. Say it aint so!!!

That is the reaction hundreds of partners had when HP announced the eIRG would be replaced by My HP Sales Guide. Now that we are a month in to the transition its time to learn how to use the new tool to find the right HP printer and supplies product information.

Partners tell me the top 3 uses of eIRG are: 1)Replacement Path: what replaces and EOL Printer 2)Comparisons: how do specs on two models match up? 3)Supplies Compatibility: which toner SKU is right?

Below is guide on how to do each of those functions. Register at http://www.MyHPSalesGuide.com and follow along.

Replacement Path

From the home screen click on the “Products” tile. In the product page search for the EOL printer. For this example I used the 9050dn

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When you get your results notice it says “Discontinued” as the status. Click on the product name

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Directly under the header there is a link for “View Replacement Products”

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We see the 9050dn has been replaced by the 806dn

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 Comparisons

 

From the My Sales Guide home screen click on the “Help Me Choose” tile. 

Compare 1

Click the “Compare” box next to two or more printers. You can narrow down the list of printers by using the “Printing Needs” drop down menu. EX: “B&W only”

 

Compare 2

Click the Compare button to show specs side by side.  Unfortunately (as far as I know) there is no way now to create a PDF of a comparison page. 

compare 3

 

Supplies

Enter the part of SKU into the search tile from the home page

Supplies 1

Click the supplies tab on the product page

Supplies 2

Select the right toner or ink part. To learn about toner and ink yield click on the product

Supplies 3

The team managing My Sales Guide has an exciting vision for where the tool is headed. One of the biggest differences between eIRG and My Sales Guide is the inclusion of both IPG (printers) and PSG (personal systems) products. This will help partners cross-sell the entire PPS (printing and personal systems) portfolio. HP’s is moving to My Sales Guide to help partners find all sales materials in one place, push the entire PPS portfolio, and have an easy to access web based tool. Come back to the tool often because more updates and functionality will be coming in the next few months.

For a guided tour of My Sales Guide work  with your SYNNEX HP PPS Business Development Team:

Printers:

Jennings Tinsley: 864-349-4784

Liz Kinney: 864-349-7378

Wide  Format:

Anna Wrice: 864-349-4002

Personal Systems:

Steven Nunes: 864-349-4354

Steven Mikhail: 864-349-4738