With close to twice the share of its next largest competitor, HP continues to dominate the hardcopy market, and while the overall market shrank 2.3% last quarter, the computer industry’s biggest vendor has identified a new opportunity to revitalize the printer market – security. Just over a week before announcing an expanded portfolio of secure enterprise printing solutions, HP released a study showing that 69% of IT professionals experience phishing attacks at least once a week, that seven out of 10 attacks generated within the network perimeter stem from a malware-infected host, and 90% of businesses have experienced a security breach because of unsecured print environments, said David Laing, Director of Innovation for HP LaserJet & Enterprise Solutions.
“We’re not trying to create a panic out there, but certainly we are trying to raise awareness.” What HP is seeing is a lot of people spending a lot of time thinking about security, but ignoring the printer risk, he said. “What we’re trying to do today, we’re double-clicking on security,” Laing told IT Trends & Analysis.
Laing said when he talks to IT managers, they can rattle off tactics to secure servers and networks, but what they don’t recognize is that printers are very sophisticated and a potential source of risk. “Most IT managers hadn’t thought about that… it was an ‘ah ha’ moment.”
He referenced three examples of printer-related security problems – an employee using a printer for insider trading, an unhappy employee leaving his company, and a third blackmailing his employer (a hospital). There are also three aspects to print security, said Laing: securing the printer; securing the data; and securing the print outs.
“We have a host of solutions, which we’re branding now as JetAdvantage Security Portfolio,” said Laing, as well as the six new solutions just announced. He believes the key announcement is Imaging and Printing Security Center 2.1. There are hundreds of security settings available with printers and multifunction printers, he said, and HP wanted to simplify that to as few as answering just 7 questions.
“The first time we run this tool, it’s a big eye-opener for our customers.” What’s even better is all new devices are automatically quarantined until they are properly secured, so nobody can just plug in a printer and steal information, he said.
Printing is a big part of HP, especially its profits. On August 20th HP released its Q3 2014 results, with revenue up 1% year-over-year to $27.6 billion. President and CEO Meg Whitman said revenue was down 4% year-over-year driven by supplies, but the operating profit margin was up 2.6 points YoY to 18.4%.
Total hardware unit shipments declined 5% in the quarter but the company gained share in both ink and multifunction printers, “important categories where we now lead the market.” Revenue was $5.6 billion, down 4% year-over-year.
Looking ahead, Laing said HP has done a pretty good job of securing the devices and data. There’s still work to be done on securing the documents, he stated.
The Fiddly Bits (& Bytes)
-HP Imaging and Printing Security Center (IPSC) 2.1 tool simplifies security deployment and monitoring for HP printing fleets by streamlining the time-consuming task of creating IT security policies for secure device communications;
-HP Print Security Advisory Services offer an analysis of a print environment, deployment of optimal security policies and recommendations for solutions to best secure the printing infrastructure;
-HP LaserJet Enterprise flow multifunction printer (MFP) M630 series features a suite of more than 200 embedded security features, powerful document workflows for compliance and the HP Trusted Platform Module Accessory to help protect customers “out of the box;”
-the HP Secure Content Management and Monitoring solution helps customers reduce the risk of security breaches associated with all print, scan, copy and fax functions at the device level; and,
-HP JetAdvantage Pull Print, available with select HP LaserJet and Officejet products, helps prevent unauthorized access to confidential print jobs and reduces waste that can occur from unclaimed or misprinted jobs. Each print job is securely stored in the cloud using AES 256-bit encryption until the user authenticates and claims the job from the printer.