HP introduces secure network printing system

Hewlett-Packard has announced a new product ' HP Secure Print Advantage ' that promises to secure an often overlooked vulnerability in many networks.

'It's really a set of building blocks to be used to create a classified print network infrastructure as an overlay to your existing network,' Gary Lefkowitz, director of marketing and operations for Secure Advantage at HP, told GCN.

Specifically, the hardware part of the Secure Print Advantage solution consists of an HP document server and a printer module. The document server, which meets FIPS 140-2 Level 4 and Common Criteria EAL 4+ standards, handles encryption of print jobs and manages cryptographic keys.

When a user who has previously installed an encrypting client sends a print job to the printer, it is decrypted at the secure document server and is scanned for malware. If malware is found, the job is terminated and the incident is logged. If not, the print job is re-encrypted and sent to the printer module.

Next, the protected print job waits until credentials are presented before emerging as a printed document. This ensures that potentially sensitive documents aren't left lying around the network printer until they can be picked up by an authorized individual.

According to Lefkowitz, Secure Print Advantage also allows systems administrators to set policies for print behavior. Users might, for example, be allowed to transmit print jobs either encrypted or not.

The Secure Print Advantage is expected to be released in February. Pricing has not yet been set.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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