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Hewlett-Packard is announcing today it has enabled enhanced security for its laser printers using smartphone authentication.

HP M651 color enterprise laser printer

Above: HP M651 color enterprise laser printer

Image Credit: HP

The security feature makes use of near-field communication, or NFC, a radio technology with a short range. If a user taps a printer with an NFC-enabled smartphone, then the devices will communicate and the printer will verify the identity of the users. The user can then go ahead and use the printer, either by printing from a PC or directly from a mobile device.

The “touch-to-authenticate” feature works with NFC-enabled Android smartphones and tablets. The solution works with two new laser printers, the HP Color Laser Jet Enterprise MFP (multi-function printer) M651 series and the HP Color Laser Jet Enterprise M680 series.

“As mobile device usage in the enterprise continues to grow, many businesses are concerned with security,” said Pradeep Jotwani, senior vice president of LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions at HP. “By simplifying authentication for users, [information technology] managers can better secure printer and MFP fleets without the concern of burdening users with a complicated authentication process.”

The smartphone and tablet authentication doesn’t sacrifice security that would otherwise be done by means of proximity card readers, HP said.

The MFC devices are aimed at supporting around 10 to 30 users in a workgroup. The printers can handle up to 4,100 sheets and the ink toner cartridges can last longer as well. The printers can handle 45 pages per minute.

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