Often when we think “self-healing,” we think of nature – or cells, more specifically. Our bodies are constantly in a state of regeneration, warding off that which threatens our equilibrium. The same is true of animals. Recently, researchers discovered self-healing characteristics in giant pandas’ teeth. They found that their enamel is capable of responding to damage at a microscale and repairing damage caused by consuming a diet of tough bamboo. In other words, their self-healing ability plays a significant role in their survival.
But what if you could “self-heal” your enterprise to be cybersecure?
According to Christoph Ruef, VP & GM, Americas Printing, HP Inc., endpoint security is one of the largest stumbling blocks organizations face when protecting themselves against digital threats. “Everyday devices, like personal computers and printers, risk infiltration by bad actors,” he says. “By embracing self-healing technology that mitigates threats without users needing to do a thing, both private and public-sector organizations can futureproof themselves,” he says.
He suggests three ways to “self-heal”:
- Arm yourself with continuous security for a 24/7 digital world. Data breaches can take just minutes to compromise a network but months to discover. Hackers often target device firmware so they can embed viruses that are separate from software and can go undetected. This is why companies need to invest in “cyber resiliency” that is built into hardware. To prevent attacks, self-healing technology is embedded into printers and other endpoint devices at the firmware level, Ruef suggests. “This way, the equipment can automatically detect and repair corruption and including everything from patch updates to runtime intrusion detection to reboots that function around-the-clock. This is not just about protecting against security threats, though; it is also about protecting their businesses. The automation provided by self-healing technology is invaluable in the digital age where business never ceases, nor do potential threats,” Ruef says.
- Get the edge on data-sensitive technologies. Self-healing capabilities are especially important in data-sensitive industries such as healthcare, finance and the government, Ruef notes. “Large institutions can invest in new technology to prevent cyberattacks, but unfortunately, many smaller organizations don’t even realize that something, like their printer, can be a big security risk. They instead focus on their server environments and workplace computers, which comprises some of the threat vector – but not all of it. Studies show that printers are connected with data loss incidents as much as 50 percent of the time,” Ruef says. By investing in devices with self-healing capabilities baked into the firmware, Ruef suggest, organizations can reallocate security resources and work with external vendors to build automated tools based on past patterns an organization has encountered. Most importantly, this reduces response time and frees up IT resources for other strategic needs.
- Lessen the burden of lean IT teams. Each year hundreds of thousands of IT jobs remain unfilled, leaving IT resources stretched thin. It’s therefore not surprising that anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of cybersecurity concerns are attributed to human error. What’s more, for small and medium-sized businesses, a dedicated IT team may not be fiscally possible. “When you consider the headwinds, self-healing capabilities are doubly important,” Ruef says. “Lean teams are often allocated to big-ticket items such as servers and marquee software. Printers, for example, tend to receive less attention, but they have their own operating systems, which present an attractive entry point for hackers to compromise an entire network.”
Self-healing technology is part of a larger, proactive method to cybersecurity that includes approaches like offering bounties to white hat hackers, who find otherwise-undetected security flaws, Ruef says. Device manufacturers integrate self-healing tools and techniques into their products to protect enterprise customers and, in doing so, the consumers that those enterprises serve. So find that manufacturer, if that solution fits for your enterprise, and feel better soon.