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Only 2% of printers secure says HP, making them easy targets for hackers

UAE – 3D printing is a game-changing innovation and will revolutionise the global manufacturing industry in the coming years, a top executive of HP said in a report with Khaleej Times.

Nick Lazaridis, HP president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said a lot more can be done in the future with 3D printing, which is worth 10 billion today but has the ability to revolutionise the 12 trillion global manufacturing industry.

“3D printers can reduce delivery time dramatically and will change manufacturing industry dimensions in coming years,” Lazaridis told Khaleej Times during an interview on the sidelines of the HP Innovation Summit held recently in London.

Using examples of shoes and glasses that can be customised to the size or likes of customers, he said 3D printing can do wonders even in key industries such as medical and automobiles by offering products in minimum time compared to what traditional stores offer today through conventional manufacturing.

Discussing cyber security threats, Lazaridis, a veteran of 20 years in the technology industry, said HP is one of the most forward-thinking vendors which can deliver complete security today as well as in the future.

Printers security being ignored

Highlighting the importance of printer security, the HP executive said businesses have spent a lot of money to secure devices such as smartphones, laptops and desktops, but the same approach is not applied to protect printers from cyber attacks.

“Printers are the most commonly connected device used in most homes and almost all offices around the world, but people don’t know the risks associated with them,” he said.

Referring to HP research, which suggests only 53 per cent of IT managers realise that printers are vulnerable to cyber crimes, he said just two per cent of printers are secure, making them easy targets for hackers compared to other devices where security is now often built-in.

“We promote the fact that you can print remotely these days, but anything with an IP address can be hacked. Printers are now fully-functioning clients on networks, but still a lot of people don’t know the risks,” he said.

“Ambient computing will be more in demand in the future – for example, your chair could have its own IP address and your furniture can adjust the volume of your music,” he added.

HP, which launched its new A3 multifunction printers with in-built hacking protection in more than 80 countries last month, said the device has a self-updating technology that was initially developed for PCs to protect them against malicious attacks or malfunctions.

“Security is a strategic priority for HP – it’s not just important to our customers, but it’s also our responsibility to help keep people’s data secure and hackers at bay. We are making a commitment to deliver products that are inherently secure to our customers,” Lazaridis said.

To a question about HP’s intention to shift its London headquarters in the wake of Brexit, he said there is no such plan. “We have a good business in the UK. There are short-term ups and downs but it happens in any country when policy changes. We don’t see the need to change anything,” he said.

He said the Middle East in general and the in particular is a great market for HP. “We have good relationships with firms in the region. We want to do the right thing for them,” Lazaridis concluded.