PRINTER CONFIDENTIAL

PHOTO: PRINTER CONFIDENTIAL

Printers and copiers are a blind spot in your business security. HP offers multifunction printers that are more secure plus options for more stringent needs.

Security is a nagging worry when you run your own business. Your trade secrets, staff information, financial records or customer records may easily fall into the wrong hands.

Beyond financial loss, a security breach means damage to your brand image and business reputation. It may lead to the loss of a valuable franchise or your clients.

"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it," said American investment guru Warren Buffett. "If you think about that, you'll do things differently," advised the Oracle from Omaha.

In digital form, information is particularly vulnerable. It is easy pickings for those with the know-how. The data can be stolen by hackers breaking into your office network. Or, your own staff may steal it. Invaluable data to you can fit easily into a tiny USB flash drive.

Security blind spot: The printer and copier

The new target for hackers is the office printer and copier. Besides the mechanical parts for printing, the printer or copier is a PC in its own right. After all, it has the essential parts of a PC: CPU, memory chips, hard disk drive and network adapter.

To a hacker, the printer or copier is an easy target. Why? Most businesses and even printer and copier manufacturers are less vigilant about the security of such devices. It makes sense to hit the weakest and least protected point.

But HP has your back. Out of the box, HP multifunction printers (MFP) come ready with security features built in. Need advanced security, monitoring and control? HP has hardware and software options that you can add on to your systems.

HP's philosophy for security covers the physical as in the printer and hard copy to electronic data whether it is in transit in the network to when it is in the printer. There are solutions suitable for just a few printers to a fleet of them and from a baseline security requirement to a high-level one.

PIN-up model

When you need to print a confidential set of figures, there is a risk of you forgetting to pick up the print or someone accidentally or deliberately taking it away. But there is no need to make a mad dash to the printer as some will run to a person offering a collectible Hello Kitty doll for sale.

With an HP MFP, you don't need to get to the printer before someone else does. First, secure the file with a PIN - it is like what you would use at a bank ATM. Then, send your file to At your leisure, stroll up to the printer and punch in your PIN. Then and then only will the printer generate the print.

Keep your manner cool and your secrets safe with this PIN locking of sensitive documents.

If you like, you can choose to keep the PIN-locked document stored in the printer so that you get a fresh hard copy from the MFP at any time without the need of a PC.

To buy or lease an HP MFP, fill in the enquiry form at www.hp.com.sg/Enquire  and we will get in touch with you.

Encrypted for your eyes only

The locking of the file is by a process called encryption. Technically, the symmetric 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256) is used. Simply put, the United States government has assessed this as powerful enough to safeguard top secret information. This is technology

Encryption can also be applied to data as the electrons zip from the PC to the HP MFP. Even if someone is able to tap into such network data, it will all appear as digital gibberish.

Then, there is the hard disk drive inside the MFP. Files sent to a printer are stored in the drive to speed up the printing. That drive is a security risk as it contains images of the confidential prints that you have made.

The printer may be stolen, sold or sent out for repair and the data in the drive harvested. Its drive could also be accessed via the network by a hacker or someone inside your business snooping for information.

Many HP MFPs use a High-Performance Secure Hard Disk. Its contents can be encrypted or mixed up like scattered pieces of a jigsaw puzzle but done electronically so that the information is very thoroughly scrambled. Tough luck to the hacker.

Super wipeout

With an HP MFP, the hard disk drive can be set to delete a file after it has been printed.

Three deletion methods can be chosen. For speed, there is Fast Erase. It is like shredding just the envelope that contained a document and then scattering the pages. All the pages of the document are still there but not easily found.

Then there is Secure Fast Erase where every single spot on the drive where the file is saved is erased or written over. Software methods won't be able to retrieve such an erased file.

The most thorough method is dubbed the Secure Sanitising Erase where multiple overwrites of the drive is done. With this, even trace magnetic memories on the physical platters of the drive are gone.

Before you give away or decommission an HP printer, you can perform a Secure Storage Erase. It removes all non-essential data such as images of all prints from the drive. This is a smart process unlike formatting which rubs out all of a drive's content. Essential data needed for the functioning of the printer is retained. But every last trace of user data is nuked with a Secure Sanitising Erase.

To buy or lease an HP MFP, fill in the enquiry form at www.hp.com.sg/Enquire  and we will get in touch with you.

Universal driver

This is not a chauffeur or Jason Statham in a Transporter movie. But it is as cool. In printer speak, the driver is like a translator that swings into action when you click on the print button on your computer screen. It translates what can be an Excel spreadsheet, e-mail message or sales brochure into machine talk that the printer can understand and then print out precisely.

But printers are different and each needs its own driver - even if the machines are from the same manufacturer. Have a collection of inkjets, laser printers and MFPs? You will need to install a different driver for each device in your PC.

HP makes it easier with its Universal Print Driver (UPD). Think of this software as a supersmart translator that can speak with the different machines in the HP family. Yes, this is the one driver to rule them all.

But the UPD does more besides being multilingual, it also boasts of encryption security features. This industrial-strength feature, in fact HP's UPD itself, doesn't cost you a cent.

Master control - for free

Another powerful software that HP provides for free for use on its devices is Web Jetadmin.

With it, you can control a fleet of printers from any PC in a network.

With this software, you can remotely install firmware, configure, monitor, maintain, and help secure your printers and MFPs. No need to hop from machine to machine. You do it all from the comfort of your desk whether the printers are in a single room or distributed over a few Think of this as the equivalent of the control tower of an airport.

The software can even troubleshoot problems in devices remotely over the network.

This software can help you save money, too. If your colour toner usage is unjustifiably high, Web Jetadmin has a feature that you will appreciate. Called Colour Access Control, this feature can restrict colour usage. For example, colour can be disabled for webpage printing - much toner can be wasted printing the colourful backgrounds of webpages. Restrictions can also be placed on groups of your staff by their work nature.

HP's Web Jetadmin is built to be robust as it is designed to be used by an enterprise. But it works great even for a small business. And, it can even be used to manage non-HP devices.

Because it is so powerful, Web Jetadmin is designed with protection such as encryption to prevent its tampering by staff playing pranks or up to mischief. Leading independent officeequipment testing lab and business consumer advocate Buyer's Laboratory awarded HP's Web Jetadmin with its highest rating of five stars.

Download the free Web Jetadmin software at hp.com/go/webjetadmin.

To buy or lease an HP MFP, fill in the enquiry form at www.hp.com.sg/Enquire  and we will get in touch with you.

Enhanced security available

If you are seeking tougher security for printers, HP has ready options waiting for you. They include enhanced access control and software that streamlines the security management of a fleet of devices to more secure hardware options.

User authentication nips the problem of unauthorised printing. Users must provide their identity at the printer prior to printing. Methods range from the simple, eg, punching in a PIN, to the convenient, eg, swiping a proximity card or smart card. There is even an app for this called HP Mobile Release which is available for iOS and Android devices. Gain access to a secure printer with your smartphone.

Also, reduce wastage. You will no longer have a pile of paper in the output tray generated by staff who print and forget and then print again. Unclaimed documents also pose a threat of confidential data being leaked.

A great optional solution is Secure Pull Printing. This is more advanced than sending a PINlocked file to a printer or user authentication. With pull printing, your secured document is first printed to a network server or PC.

The transmission and storage are encrypted so that even if a hacker gets into the network, he will not be able to make sense of the file. When you need the document you just walk up to any enabled device on the network, provide your authentication and the print is made right there for you. Not only is Secure Pull Printing safe, it is convenient to boot.

Track the use of printers, MFPs, toners, inks and paper across your business. With this detailed data, you can allocate print costs accurately and make more informed forecasts for supplies and costs.

Customise usage rights to individual staff or groups for faxing, copying, colour printing and scanning. This intelligent print and rights management both boosts security and lower costs.

These features are available in HP Access Control solutions which include the Express and Professional bundles or in separate modules to meet specific needs.

Fleet security management

Yours is a business where you are continuously creating confidential data that is crucial in the running of your business. You could be in healthcare or financial services with many active client records - all highly sensitive. You have your computers and networks covered in your IT security policy but are concerned about your growing and changing fleet of printers. They are a ticking security time bomb as you deploy many devices to serve various workgroups.

HP has a fleet security software option for you called Imaging and Printing Security Centre (IPSC). This is the industry's first policy-based compliance solution for printing and imaging devices.

With the HP IPSC, you set one policy for your fleet of printers and it is pushed out to the various devices in your office. From unattended documents left lying on a printer to sensitive data sent from the computer to the device to confidential information residing on the devices' hard drives, you can decide on the level of security you require and the IPSC will implement it for you remotely.

A Policy Editor takes the jargon, mystery and tedium out of policy setting. HP's Best Practices Base Policy, derived from recommendations from HP security experts, provides a basic level of security recommendations. Just dial up the security in the areas you need based on specific requirements from the departments or your legal or audit experts.

With HP Instant-on Security, a new device added on the network will immediately be configured to be compliant with your security policy. No intervention is needed. No need for an IT support staff to fuss over a machine to set up the security settings.

You can schedule compliance tests to be run on your fleet daily, weekly, or monthly. You choose. If any device is found to be out of line security-wise, the correct policy settings are applied to the errant machine by the IPSC.

To buy or lease an HP MFP, fill in the enquiry form at www.hp.com.sg/Enquire  and we will get in touch with you.

HP LaserJet Enterprise 700 colour MFP M775z

A large-volume, professional-quality, floor-standing multifunction printer that does colour printing on a wide range of paper sizes - up to A3.

Free 1-year supply of HP Everyday Paper (100 reams) worth $690 with purchase of the HP LaserJet Enterprise 700 colour MFP M775z. Valid till 30 Sep 2013.

Be original - stick with HP toners

Third parties printing supplies such as toners and inks may be cheaper. But these manufacturers may have a one-size-fits-all approach where the same inks are used to fill cartridges for different machines from many brands. They may say that inks from Germany or Japan are used suggesting some level of quality. Get real. Consumers buy third party inks not for the print quality but because they are cheaper.

Don't yield to the temptation of saving a few bucks upfront and facing the consequences later.

HP toners pay you back by cutting down on the number of reprints, cartridge replacements, saving you time and paper.

Don't fit a Jaguar with reconditioned cheap tyres. Stick with original HP supplies.

Act now for a secure printer environment

To buy or lease an HP MFP, fill in the enquiry form at www.hp.com.sg/Enquire  and we will get in touch with you.