AM Exclusive Technicity Newsletter Issue 4 - Page 2

PRINTER FIRMWARE: TO UPDATE OR NOT TO UPDATE? THAT IS THE QUESTION. I n the past, as experts in repairing HP laser printers, we would answer the question of whether or not to update printer firmware as pretty much a hard “NO.” The only reason we would recommend updating firmware was if the printer was not functioning the way you needed it to and you found out that the firmware update addressed that issue. Updating printer firmware, like many things in the IT world, can be like opening a can of worms: you can unintentionally cause an issue that wasn’t happening already. (I’m sure all of you have, at one time or the other, experienced the pain caused by a Windows update!) However, as you know, the IT world has changed, and due to the constant cybersecurity threats out there, what we recommend has evolved. In addition to considering updating printer firmware when it can resolve a known issue with a printer, we recommend that you also update this firmware whenever it addresses a known security vulnerability. For example, here are some security vulnerabilities addressed by firmware updates that you may find lurking in your printer fleet: SECURITY BULLETIN: HPSPI02727 SSRT100692 rev.7 CVSS BASE SCORE: 10 POTENTIAL SECURITY IMPACT: The vulnerability could be exploited remotely to install unauthorized printer firmware. SECURITY BULLETIN: HPSBPI03596 rev. 2 CVSS BASE SCORE: 8.1 POTENTIAL SECURITY IMPACT: Solution application signature checking may allow potential execution of arbitrary code. SECURITY BULLETIN: HPSBPI02869 SSRT100936 rev.4 CVSS BASE SCORE: 7.8 POTENTIAL SECURITY IMPACT: The vulnerability could be exploited remotely to gain unauthorized access to files. When performing a printer firmware update, it is extremely important to be mindful that no one sends print jobs to the printer or turns off the printer during the update process. If this is done, the printer formatter can be damaged—and it is an expensive part to replace. Due to these reasons, we often update the firmware via the printer’s USB port. As our client, you are eligible for a free firmware assessment to help address vulnerabilities. We can get information as to what firmware versions are installed on your printers from our software tool FMAudit or from HP Web Jet Admin. Once we have that information, we can input it into our assessment tool which identifies out-of- date firmware. For all firmware that is out of date, our tool highlights whether the newest firmware addresses any security vulnerabilities as well as what the CVSS score of the vulnerabilities are. This report will give you a roadmap as to what your staff needs to address and what is most important to address first. If your staff does not have the time to perform the necessary firmware updates, we can help. For more information, contact Terry Twibell, [email protected], 718-845-2828 ext. 227.