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How we make cloud printing secure as well as simple

How we make cloud printing secure as well as simple

When we first had conversations with customers about taking print to the cloud, it was like a flashback in time to when businesses were reluctant to migrate workloads to the cloud. They were worried about loss of control and trusting data to a third party. Today, most organisations recognise that public cloud platforms provide better security than anything they could achieve with their own IT infrastructure.

Something similar has happened with cloud printing. Ergo’s solution addresses concerns because it is predicated on documents never leaving a company’s premises. It’s only the meta data around each print job that actually goes to the cloud. This means the benefits of cloud printing can be safely realised, such as running a print environment without having a print server or the hassle of having to install print drivers and worrying about keeping them up to date.

In just three simple steps we can set up laptops, PCs and mobile devices to connect and print to locally networked devices. The first step is an email to employees. From it, they can download a client to their devices (smartphones as well as laptops, PCs and Macs), which uses about as little memory as an open tab in a browser. The third and final step is testing a print job.

 

Keeping nodes and keys encrypted

Once set up, what’s really smart is the way the system is optimised to be as efficient and secure as possible. All the devices become nodes in a network, connected to local printers and capable of outputting jobs, regardless of which device stores the document. Press to print and the job is replicated to three different devices and one is automatically chosen, depending on its reliability and speed. The system learns behaviour and the best devices/nodes to use.

All the nodes are managed from the cloud to make sure everything’s connected and interacting correctly. Communication between them is encrypted. Each time a job moves from one laptop to another, it creates a new encryption key only known locally by the two machines that are talking to each other.

Ethical security hacks, or ‘white hats’, are carried out regularly to test the robustness of the solution in the face of increasingly sophisticated threats. If any vulnerabilities are found that might lead to a network breach, they are immediately fixed, long before they pose a threat to customers. And remember, there’s no risk around sensitive documents falling into the wrong hands because they never leave the company sites.

All the benefits of the cloud

Businesses will already be familiar with other cloud benefits. The solution can be easily scaled and run across multiple sites. Like similar propositions, it is a subscription service, renewed annually. As with other SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) models, the cost covers automated updates and the type of proactive security measures mentioned above. Threats are monitored and potential vulnerabilities nullified without your IT department having to lift a finger.

What’s not in the solution but is covered by our managed print proposition is securing the actual printer. With HP Wolf Security, companies are enabled to prevent security threats while ensuring their employees’ ability to work together successfully. HP Wolf Security includes several layers of security, which are: HP sure start, Run-Time Intrusion Detection, HP Connection Inspector, Whitelisting, HP FutureSmart and HP Advance. We offer a complete lifecycle service for a piece of hardware that is often overlooked in internal security policies. It’s on the same network as servers and laptops, which makes it a target for cybercriminals looking for a vulnerable entry point into company systems.

There are stacks of examples of badly run print environments providing a gateway to all kinds of cyberattack. We make sure it doesn’t happen with an end-to-end service that goes from regular firmware updates to recycling at the end of life, when the printer’s hard drive – and any sensitive information held on it – is destroyed. With HP cloud-powered printers that deliver leading-class security that protects your data, organisations can be ensured of the confidentiality and security of printing. HP printers can help your company to enhance the overall security strategy by stopping threats, adapting to new ones and healing itself from the attacks.

Despite predictions of the paperless office, printers remain a vital part of nearly every business. Just make sure you keep them locked down and secure. And don’t be afraid to take printing to the cloud and make it part of the modern workplace, not a hangover from the past.

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