This week we continue the discussion I began this year on how to Lay a Foundation for a Secure Print Environment. Last week the focus was on Protecting Privacy through a Secure Print Environment. This week, we’re going to take a deeper look into Authentication. What is authentication and why does it matter?
Authentication is one of the most pressing imaging and printing security issues, and is central to how organizations manage and monitor access to data and documents throughout their managed IT environment. Organizations must secure access and usage of data and documents in transit (sent to printer), in use (at the device), and at rest (information stored on printing device hard drives). Adopting stringent authentication measures can not only help safeguard against unauthorized access to sensitive information—and any resulting theft or litigation—but can also cut costs and reduce consumables.
Consider this Scenario: Communication breakdown --
A global telecommunications company provides voice, data, and IP services to a roster of clients that includes multinational corporations and government agencies. Members of an activist hacker group use software to remotely bypass the telecom’s existing security protocols and gain administrator privileges for the company’s printing network. The hackers access sensitive data stored on multifunction printer (MFP) hard drives—including internal memos, email, meeting transcripts, and financial reports—and then upload the information to the Internet. As a result, the company’s market value drops precipitously, clients terminate several lucrative contracts, and the telecom is forced to launch a costly marketing campaign to repair damage to its brand image.
Many companies don’t fully grasp the potentially devastating effects a print security breach can have on their organization. According to a recent Quocirca survey, 76% of respondents said that printing is a vital part of their business operation, and yet only 15% indicated that they were concerned about data loss through printers or MFPs. I sponsored a print security survey with Government Technology in October of 2011 to their subscriber base which showed similar results. Even IT managers who felt their security plan addressed imaging and printing, hadn’t implemented the most basic of security measures such as encrypting print jobs or securing hard drives. This knowledge gap between the presumption and reality of security threats can open the door to the exposure, misappropriation, and misuse of critical data.
To confront these issues in managed imaging and printing environments, leading IT security providers, such as HP, have created an extensive portfolio of products, services, and solutions that work with your existing network security protocols (for example, LDAP, NTLM, or Kerberos) to address authentication concerns:
• HP Access Control Secure Print Authentication offers a range of at-the-device solutions that include PIN codes, proximity badge readers, and smartcard readers, as well as third-party biometric solutions.
• HP Universal Print Driver boasts encryption capabilities that ensure the secure and authenticated delivery of documents over a network, while enabling administrators to manage and monitor usage.
• HP Access Control Secure Pull Printing allows companies to improve security and help conserve resources by routing print jobs through secure HP servers and printing devices, where they’re held until authorized users provide verification (using a variety of authentication methods) to release the documents for printing.
• HP High-performance Secure Hard Disks are easy-to-install, encrypted internal or external hard disks with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) technology to add an extra layer of protection to printing devices.
• HP Imaging and Printing Security Center is an easy-to-use, policy-based software application that allows IT managers to assess, secure, and enable authentication across printing fleets while maintaining compliance with security policies.
Authentication is an important, yet singular pillar of a truly comprehensive security plan. In a global marketplace—where security regulations and standards can vary widely between locations—security must protect company assets whenever and wherever business takes place. Learn more about how HP Managed Print Services (MPS) can secure your print environment.
Watch for Part 4 in next week’s blog which will explore maintaining COMPLIANCE through a secure print environment.