Today Xerox (NYSE: XRX) and McAfee revealed new protection against malware and viruses with the first networked multifunction printer to use McAfee Embedded Control software, a sophisticated filtering method that allows only approved programs to get through. And while malware threats are most often associated with personal computers, Xerox demonstrated to attendees at the McAfee FOCUS12 security conference that any networked device is vulnerable.
“When a multifunction device receives data and processes it for printing, copying, scanning or faxing, it becomes susceptible to malware attacks – a risk that often is overlooked,” said Tom Moore, vice president of embedded security at McAfee.
The Xerox and McAfee security solution simplifies processes for IT administrators with software embedded into a multifunction device’s controller (the machine’s main onboard computer) to provide an immediate alert and audit trail to track and investigate the time and origin of security threats – and take appropriate action. This eliminates the need for IT administrators to constantly stay on top of malware threats and proactively block them.
Climax Portable Machining and Welding Systems, a company looking to expand into global markets, is testing the technology. “As we expand we recognize that we will increase our exposure to viruses and malware,” said David Richardson, the company’s network administrator. “Adding McAfee technology to our Xerox equipment is critical to protecting our intellectual property as we integrate multiple sites and systems around the world.”Survey data from Xerox and McAfee underscores the need for embedded security in networked printers and multifunction devices. In a poll of office workers taken earlier this year, more than half (54 percent) say they either don’t always follow their company’s IT security policies (33 percent) or aren’t even aware of the policies (21 percent) – leaving the security of customer credit card numbers, financial reports, and human resource and tax documents at risk. The survey also showed 39 percent of employees who copy, scan or print confidential information at work say they wonder (at least sometimes) whether the information on a networked device will remain secure. “IT administrators don’t always consider printers as a threat – and with the Embedded Control software from McAfee, Xerox has put defenses in its products so they don’t have to,” said Rick Dastin, president, Xerox Office and Solutions Business Group.