HP Lends Big Focus on Cybersecurity

In conversation with Security MEA, Ertug Ayik, Managing Director of HP Middle East and Africa, highlights the company’s focus on cybersecurity and explains how HP is investing heavily in creating cybersecurity solutions to address the various concerns associated with device and data protection in the cloud and hybrid environments.

What specific security features are integrated into HP hardware to protect against physical and cyber threats?
HP integrates robust security features into its hardware to counter both physical and cyber threats effectively. Tamper-evident labels, chassis intrusion detection, and physical locks fortify against unauthorized access or tampering. HP Endpoint Security Controller, a hardware-enforced security feature, also provides enhanced protection against firmware attacks and malware, contributing to a more resilient security system. HP Sure Start detects and recovers from BIOS attacks, ensuring firmware integrity, and Secure Boot provides further protection, such as checking the authenticity of the bootloader for the OS. Hardware encryption, including self-encrypting drives, shields against data breaches. Biometric authentication, such as fingerprint scanners and facial recognition, bolsters user verification.

How does HP ensure the security of devices at the hardware level to prevent tampering and unauthorised access?
Robust security first starts at the hardware level. That is why HP focuses on physical security features, including tamper-evident labels and intrusion detection, to prevent unauthorized access from the start. Biometric authentication, such as fingerprint and facial recognition, enhances user verification across our devices, and regular firmware and software updates address vulnerabilities. Some HP devices also come with security slots for attaching cable locks, like the HP Ultraslim Cable Lock Kit, providing a physical barrier against theft of unauthorized removal. Our strong attention to security standards ensures continued compliance and awareness of the latest innovations. In addition, HP conducts regular security audits and testing for continuous improvement, adhering to industry best practices.

What measures does HP take to enhance endpoint security, especially in the context of a diverse and distributed workforce?
HP enhances endpoint security for a diverse and distributed workforce through advanced antivirus and anti-malware software and secure access controls. An example is HP’s Wolf Security, which delivers unique endpoint security and protection on devices no matter where, when or how they are used. Customers receive the support needed to adequately maintain security in the new hybrid working world through layered resiliency from hardware to cloud, security risk management, and rapid IT disaster recovery at scale. With this new way of working in mind, HP has adopted a Zero Trust model and provides remote wipe and lock capabilities for lost or stolen devices, ensuring a comprehensive and proactive approach to endpoint security.

Can you provide details on the antivirus, anti-malware, and other endpoint protection features in HP cybersecurity solutions?
With growing global concerns about advancements in cybercriminal activity, HP’s approach focuses on layered security to safeguard against diverse cyber threats. HP integrates security features into its devices, such as HP Sure Sense for antivirus and anti-malware protection. Other tools like HP Sure Click enhance web security and protect against malware hiding inside file types commonly abused by cybercriminals (e.g PDFs and Microsoft Office files), through hardware-enforced isolation, isolating web content and attachments in virtual containers to prevent potential threats from impacting the underlying system. Furthermore, with features like BIOSphere Gen5, HP Sure Run and Sure Recover, we protect the firmware of the system, ensure that critical security processes cannot be disabled by malware, and enable devices to be efficiently restored in case of system corruption.

How does HP address data protection and encryption to safeguard sensitive information on devices and during data transmission?
HP ensures data protection through robust device security features. This includes BIOS-level protection and hardware-based encryption. Operating systems like Windows and Linux further augment security. Noteworthy features such as HP Sure Start detect and recover from BIOS attacks, ensuring firmware integrity. HP also provides privacy features like HP Sure View to combat visual hacking. Collaborations with security partners and the provision of encryption solutions contribute to an overall fortified protection strategy.

Are there specific encryption technologies or standards that HP employs in its cybersecurity solutions?  
At HP, our commitment to cybersecurity is exemplified through implementing the highest encryption standards and cutting-edge technologies across all our products. Our security solutions are engineered to ensure the utmost protection for sensitive data, guaranteeing both confidentiality and integrity. It is important that users feel confident in the security of our products. We consistently strive to surpass industry standards regarding safeguarding invaluable data to achieve this.

How does HP support multi-factor authentication and other advanced access control measures?
HP offers a suite of solutions for identity and access management. This includes security software with authentication mechanisms, biometric options, and Single Sign-On (SSO). Endpoint security measures ensure authorized access to devices. Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) tools manage user roles and permissions. HP Client Security Manager is a software-based approach designed to provide solid security and gives admins the ability to increase security by requiring two authentication factors, such as a password and a thumbprint or a smartcard and a PIN. Combining two methods of authentication makes it more challenging for attackers to steal identities and access sensitive data.

Recognizing the critical role of multi-factor authentication (MFA) in securing user credentials, HP supports MFA through various authentication factors. This includes inherence (biological traits), knowledge (user-specific information), possession (tangible credentials), location (smart device awareness), and time (temporal elements).

Are there specific solutions or integrations to ensure the security of data and applications in cloud-based and hybrid work scenarios?
At HP next year, we predict that powerful AI will be in the hands of the many, making sophisticated capabilities more accessible to malicious actors at scale. This will accelerate attacks in OS and application software and across more complex layers of the technology stack, like firmware and hardware. Previously, would-be threat actors needed to develop or hire very specialist skills to develop such exploits and code, but the growing use of Generative AI has started to remove many of these barriers.

HP adopts a multi-faceted approach to address cybersecurity challenges in cloud and hybrid environments. The HP Wolf Security suite, integral to this strategy, employs hardware-enforced security measures at the device level. This approach ensures a robust defence against evolving threats in cloud and hybrid settings. Additionally, HP provides endpoint-focused security services, creating a comprehensive shield extending from hardware to specific endpoint services.

Within the HP Wolf Security suite, tailored solutions and integrations are designed to fortify the security of data and applications in cloud-based and hybrid work scenarios. Addressing the unique challenges of these environments, HP’s advanced features and integrations establish a thorough defence, effectively safeguarding critical data and applications.

What initiatives or tools does HP offer to educate users and enhance their awareness of cybersecurity best practices?
HP has hosted a Security Advisory Board since 2017, bringing outside security experts inside the company to share the latest developments in hacking, security technology and strategy. The board builds on HP’s long history of leadership in cybersecurity. HP has driven a slew of security innovations, from technology that provides cryptographically secure updates of a device’s BIOS to run-time intrusion detection, which checks for anomalies, automatically recovering when an intrusion is detected. These security experts act as a reconnaissance team, providing insights from the front lines we use to reinforce our own security work. The board also sparks strategic conversations about the rapidly shifting security landscape with HP executives and the market.

We also work with the wider security community by sharing threat intelligence. For example, each quarter in our HP Wolf Security Threat Insights Report, we share our analysis of notable malware trends and techniques from attacks caught by HP Wolf Security. In doing so, we raise awareness of current threats facing businesses and individuals.