What is secure biometric printing

16. March 2012 06:40 by Calvin Yu in Technology News  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Biometric Finger ScannerSecure printing is usually a term reserved for such high-security jobs as printing banknotes, identification, passports, and financial certificates, but many businesses print documents that have just as much a need for security measures as any of these. Secure printing does not simply mean printing documents so they cannot be forged, it also means printing documents so that they do not fall into the wrong hands. Printing is one area where security is often lax. Firewalls and network security only protects data from unauthorized computer-to-computer transmission. It does not stop someone from simply printing documents and walking out the door with them.

Too many businesses in high-security industries such as finance, healthcare, government and education perform their printing on standard printers with no security measures in place. Most of these businesses should be doing just the opposite by rigidly controlling who can operate printers and what information can be sent to them. The best way to accomplish this feat is through secure biometric printing.

The Need for Secure Biometric Printing
Printers are often the largest security gap in companies that store sensitive data. Data security experts estimate that up to 30 percent of documents that are sent to the printer are left there and available for anyone to gather. In addition, most printers are left unprotected, so anyone inside the company can change their settings and reroute sensitive documents to accessible printers. Another way data is stolen from printers is from the printer memory. Oftentimes, recent print jobs are stored in printer hard drives and can be accessed by anyone.

Allowing secure documents to fall in the wrong hands has a number of consequences for a business. At the top of this list is legal liability. Lawsuits are won each year against companies who could have prevented data theft. In some industries, companies who let sensitive data slip out are subject to government fines for industry violations. Many businesses could also lose thousands or millions of dollars in profit if corporate secrets, customer databases or marketing strategies fall into the hands of the competition.

The need for secure biometric printing is real and can be monetized. Protection from losses caused by security breaches is available today at very reasonable prices.

How Secure Biometric Printing Works
Secure biometric printing is not a solution within itself, but it is part of a full secure printing system. Secure printing begins with standard security protocols. Restricting physical access to printers, securing local area networks, requiring passwords and encrypting sensitive data are all strategies that can help secure printing, but much more is still required.

Even if security protocols are observed, it is still necessary to secure printing hardware. Multifunction printers are notorious for their lack of security, but they can be buttoned down by making sure they are coupled with devices to control who can access and use them. Some companies use password access, while others use security cards. However, passwords can be broken, and security cards can be lost or stolen. The only fully secure method of controlling access to printers is through biometrics.

Biometric security is the use of unique physical traits to control access to devices. Biometrics can include DNA matching, face recognition, voice recognition and eye scans. However, the simplest form of biometric security is a standard fingerprint reader. Secure biometric printing using a password and fingerprint combination is seen as the most practical form of printer security currently available. Fingerprints cannot be forged, making them very secure, and fingerprint scanners are among the most affordable pieces of biometric equipment on the market.

Once the hardware is installed, all that is necessary for secure biometric printing to work is to scan the fingerprints of those who are cleared to use the printer and enter their passwords. After setup is complete, only the people whose fingerprints and passwords have been loaded will be able to use the printer for any purpose.

Description of the different USB interfaces

7. March 2012 03:27 by Calvin Yu in Technology News  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Universal serial bus (USB) technologies allow the rapid transfer of data from one computing device to another. The USB standard was designed through a cooperative effort by seven of the largest companies in the computing and electronics industry to standardize data transfer formats and allow for more uniformity in the connections and interfaces used to link devices to computers and to each other. USB connections were designed to replace some of the serial and parallel connections previously used in computing hardware and continue to evolve to meet the needs of manufacturers and consumers in the expanding electronics marketplace. USB devices typically feature plug-and-play functionality; this means that they can be connected and disconnected from the computing device without requiring a shutdown of the system. In some cases, USB computer connections can also serve to charge devices using the on-board power source of the computer system.

USB version 1
The initial release of the USB standard in November of 1995 had significant flaws and was not immediately adopted by consumers and electronics manufacturers. It called for data rates of 1.5 megabits per second for low bandwidth applications and 12 megabits per second for full bandwidth usage. It was not until the release of USB version 1.1 almost three years later that USB technologies became widely accepted, available and popular in the U.S. The first USB devices were mostly limited to portable disk drives and user input devices like keyboards and joysticks, but as the USB format became more popular a wider range of devices began implementing this industry standard.

USB version 2
The second iteration of the USB standard was introduced in April 2000 and represented a major advance in speed and sophistication. A new, higher level of bandwidth was supported that was exponentially faster than before at 480 megabits per second. Referred to as hi-speed USB, this upgrade allowed data transfers of up to 60 megabytes per second and paved the way for higher speed file transfers; it also introduced a number of new connector formats including Mini-A, Mini-B and Micro-USB cables and connectors. Because USB 2.0 provided higher speed and increased bandwidth functionality, it became practical to use USB connections for printers, DVD burners and players, MP3 players and other digital storage devices, expanding the market for these versatile connections.

USB version 3
Released in November of 2008, USB 3.0 is the fastest and most advanced standard for data transfer and can manage speeds of up to 625 megabytes. The standard is designed to be both backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and to allow upgrades for newer advances in USB technology. Along with the increase in speed, USB 3.0 consumes less power than previous versions, making it a green-friendly computing solution. USB 3.0 devices include high-definition video systems including webcams, video recorders, cameras and Blu-Ray players and drives. These high-end electronic devices perform better with USB 3.0 than the previous version and take advantage of the higher bandwidth and lightning-fast speed of the USB 3.0 interface.

Interface types
USB Interfaces DiagramA variety of physical connectors are used in order to allow devices to interface using the USB protocols. These connections are defined as male or female; generally the male interfaces are used on the connecting wires while the female connectors are integrated into the electronic devices, but this is not always the case. Interface types include:

  • Standard-A – Along with the Standard-B connector, this connector type was introduced with the release of USB 1.1 and continues to be the most common type of USB plug on the market. It is designed to fit into a computer or hub port and to transfer data and electricity simultaneously, allowing devices to charge while in use.
  • Standard-B – Commonly used for printer or digital camera connections, this connecting plug also provides power and data transfer simultaneously, but usually fits into a device port rather than a computer port.
  • Mini-A and Mini-B – The advent of cellular phones and devices and their increasing popularity led to the introduction of the Mini-A and Mini-B USB connectors to fit these smaller devices.
  • Four-prong Mini – Designed specifically for mini-USB digital cameras and other devices, these specialized USB connectors have mostly been abandoned in favor of the newer Micro-USB interfaces.
  • Micro-USB – Available in A, B, and AB varieties, Micro-USB connections are fast becoming the industry standard and are compatible with a wide range of newer digital and personal computing and communications devices.

USB Interfaces PhotoThe future of USB
While USB 4.0 has yet to be announced, experts have speculated that the next generation of USB connections may use fiber-optic technologies to provide even more speed and greater transfer capabilities for business and personal use. Regardless, the USB standard has served the electronics industry well and is likely to remain in place for years to come.

What is SoyPrint?

2. February 2012 05:06 by Calvin Yu in Technology News  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

SoyPrintThe SoyPrint brand was developed by Print Recovery Concepts, Inc. as a green alternative to oil-based printer cartridges. Traditional cartridges use oil to produce the toner, like the HP CM1415 toner, but SoyPrint uses environmentally friendly soy beans as the base for the toner. To make the one pound of powder required for a single cartridge, it takes two liters of oil. Soy-based cartridges eliminate this dependence on oil as a material for the toner. While soy-based ink has been around for awhile, Print Recovery Concepts, Inc. has utilized this eco-friendly material to produce cartridges compatible with laser printers.

Users of the SoyPrint technology do not lose any quality or efficiency when making the switch from oil-based cartridges. Research has proven that the soy-based cartridges print the same quality and same number of pages as their oil-based counterparts. The main difference lies in the ability to renew the materials used. SoyPrint brand cartridges also use recycled plastic and are compatible with several different laser printer models.

In an effort to make printing even greener, Print Recovery Concepts, Inc. also provides buyers with return UPS labels for the empty cartridges, like toner cartridges by HP. Users can send their used cartridges back to the company in order to be recycled into other plastic products. SoyPrint encourages businesses, schools and other industries to make the switch to soy-based ink. By shopping online, buyers can input their printer models to find compatible cartridges for green printing solutions.

In conjunction with using SoyPrint cartridges, businesses can also join programs that reduce their environmental impact. These companies and schools have a choice to switch from oil-based toner to the new SoyPrint cartridges, but they can also rely on recycled paper for all of their printing needs. When replacing old printers, businesses no longer have to throw them out. SoyPrint will offer a list of school districts that accept donated printers in order to reduce the amount of waste in landfills. This effort not only helps the environment, but it assists schools by providing them with printers for office and student use.

SoyPrint is also keeping track of its efforts to improve the environment. When customers sign up with one of the sustainability programs, SoyPrint tracks the pounds of soy-based toner used, pounds of plastic recycled and reams of recycled paper used. These reports are then sent directly to the customers for their own records. SoyPrint is making it easy for industries to reduce their environmental impact simply by switching to compatible, recycled, soy-based printer cartridges.

247inktoner.com is actively working on sourcing eco-friendly products and is evaluating SoyPrint products for resale on our website.

Month List