Pharos and “PrintNightmare” Windows vulnerability

July 1, 2021 — Over the last 24 hours, a zero-day exploit leveraging a vulnerability in the Windows Print Spooler Service has been publicly published and acknowledged by Microsoft. The exploit, termed “PrintNightmare” (CVE-2021-1675) does not currently have a complete fix from Microsoft.

While the vulnerability leverages the print spooler process to enable a Remote Code Execution vulnerability, the risk extends beyond printing to the underlying operating system at the desktop and server level. Some security experts and teams are suggesting disabling of the Windows Print Spooler Service.The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is recommending that administrators disable the Windows Print spooler service in Domain Controllers and systems that do not print.

Many Pharos’ Blueprint and Uniprint customers leverage the Windows Print Spooler Service as a print file transport layer to the Blueprint and Uniprint job storage services. Disabling the Print Spooler Service for these customers and end user clients will result in print interruption.

However, we recommend that all customers follow the security precautions and recommendations of your IT Security teams.

As the Pharos Beacon cloud platform does not use the Windows Print Spooler, it is unaffected by the disabling of the Spooling Service on servers (though disabling it on desktops will prevent all print from Windows).

Clients who are unsure about whether they are relying on Windows Print Spooling or looking to reduce reliance on Windows Print Spooling should contact Pharos support for guidance and support.

In the meantime, Pharos will continue to monitor the PrintNightmare vulnerability and communicate to our partners and clients as the threat evolves and as the vulnerability is eliminated.

Pharos Products and Services Unaffected by the SolarWinds Exploit

The Pharos Security Team has been watching with heightened awareness the developing cyberattack on federal and corporate computing systems by way of vulnerabilities found in several versions of the SolarWinds Orion software platform.

Pharos does not use SolarWinds Orion software for internal or cloud-based systems. We have completed an audit of all computing platforms within Pharos to ensure that the SolarWinds product is not resident on any devices within our IT infrastructure.

As such, we are confident that neither Pharos nor any of our customers are exposed to this threat by the use of Pharos products and services.

We will continue to monitor the situation and the actions and directives emerging from the joint activity of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). We will embrace any actions recommended or required.

As the situation evolves, Pharos will continue to update our website and inform customers should any concerns arise related to our internal, cloud, or deployed products in customer locations.

For more information on this developing story:

A Moment of Reckoning [By Microsoft President Brad Smith]

Pharos Is Now Chrome Enterprise Recommended!

We are thrilled to announce that Google has recognized Pharos Systems as a Chrome Enterprise Recommended partner! Chrome Enterprise Recommended is Google’s partner program for third-party solutions that are verified by Google to meet certain technical and support standards for Chrome OS and Chrome devices. (See Solution Brief on Google.com)

As part of this partnership, Pharos Beacon has been validated by Google as a Chrome Enterprise Recommended solution, optimized for rapid deployment and seamless integration with Google’s Chrome OS and Chrome browser with the Pharos Chrome Print extension. It’s now easier than ever for Chromebook users to print securely and confidently!

The Growing Influence of Chrome OS Devices

Today’s workforce spends more time than ever in the cloud, and Chrome OS devices are becoming increasingly popular in enterprises all over the world. It’s no surprise that IT leaders are investing in cloud-native devices as part of their endpoint strategy. Especially now, as unpredictable global changes have accelerated the urgency to enable remote workers with speed and scale.

We’re proud to be among Google’s recommended solution partners and we look forward to an exciting future serving Chromebook users together.

Included in this urgency is the need to provide employees with easy access to printing while protecting the security and confidentiality of printed documents. This is what Pharos does best.

As a Chrome Enterprise Recommended partner, the Pharos development team worked directly with Google to validate the functionality, quality, and security of the Pharos Chrome Print extension and the secure transmission of documents into the Pharos Beacon cloud platform.

We’re proud to be among Google’s recommended solution partners and we look forward to an exciting future serving Chrome users together. Now, enterprises all over the world can invest in Chrome OS devices with confidence, knowing there’s a community of partners who are validated to extend Chrome OS functionality and provide support to the growing ecosystem of users, technology partners, and best-of-breed solutions!

You can learn more about our Chrome Enterprise Recommended status here, and you can learn more about the program here at Google’s Chrome Enterprise Recommended program page.

Your Future with Uniprint: Exploring the Options

Your Future with Uniprint: Exploring the Options

For over twenty-five years, Pharos Uniprint has led print management innovation in higher education. One factor that our customers appreciate most about Uniprint is its flexibility. You can customize the solution just about every way you can imagine.

In this webinar, we will explore all the options available for Uniprint environments as we look to the future, explore the various architectures, and share best practices for those considering a transition to a virtualized environment. Need your solution to stay on-premises? No problem. Do you want to host your environment in a private cloud? You can do that! Are you a University IT manager interested in true cloud as a service? We have options for that as well. No matter where you are on your journey, Pharos will support you.

Optimize Print with Pharos

Learn more about how to simplify print security, increase IT productivity, and cut waste with Pharos Cloud. Schedule a meeting with us today.

Request More Information
Screenshots of Pharos Cloud on mobile and desktop devices.

Uniprint 9.1 Service Pack 3 Now Available!

We are happy to announce the latest update to Uniprint 9.1! This update provides new Chromebook support for customers who are currently using Google Cloud Print (GCP), which Google is retiring in December.

Customers planning to phase out GCP but still support Chromebook printing now have the flexibility to transition to the new solution any time before the end of the year. The update does not interfere with the existing Pharos GCP service; that will continue to work as long as the Google Cloud Print service is active. With this update, site administrators point users to the Pharos Chrome Print extension in Google’s Chrome Web Store.

Users simply install the extension and enter their school’s server name, which is provided by the site administrator. From that point forward, students print as they normally do. The Pharos development team worked closely with Google to help ensure a seamless and secure transition away from GCP.

Service Pack 3 also adds support for our new touchless printing option, which will be available via our updated mobile app later this summer. This important new feature makes it easy for site administrators to provide touchless printing workflows for students and staff who prefer not to touch printer control panels, to reduce their exposure to shared surfaces.

The touchless printing workflow is simple, fast, and fun: people use the Pharos Print app (iOS and Android) to scan a QR code affixed to the printer. Users can manage the print jobs in their queue and confirm or change job details right from their mobile device—without ever making contact with the printer interface. Site administrators can also customize the QR codes with their school’s brand.

Complete documentation for this release is available here.

Uniprint & The Cloud: Your Questions Answered

Uniprint & The Cloud: Your Questions Answered

In this webinar, Pharos Solutions Architect Rich Post will answer frequently asked questions about Pharos Uniprint and Beacon cloud software! Learn how to determine which product is the best fit for your environment, and how their capabilities can complement each other. When does it make sense to supplement Uniprint with Beacon? Which products can you use to manage employee back-office printing? How is the Mobile Print experience different? Join this session to find out their similarities, differences, and more!

Optimize Print with Pharos

Learn more about how to simplify print security, increase IT productivity, and cut waste with Pharos Cloud. Schedule a meeting with us today.

Request More Information
Screenshots of Pharos Cloud on mobile and desktop devices.

Pharos Uniprint Training for New Administrators

Pharos Uniprint Training for New Administrators

This webinar helps prepare technical administrators who are new to Uniprint to successfully use Pharos Administrator. This training provides an overview with enough details to give new Uniprint administrators the skills they need to apply common functions and system configurations.

Optimize Print with Pharos

Learn more about how to simplify print security, increase IT productivity, and cut waste with Pharos Cloud. Schedule a meeting with us today.

Request More Information
Screenshots of Pharos Cloud on mobile and desktop devices.

Pharos Uniprint: Product Roadmap for Higher Education

Pharos Uniprint: Product Roadmap for Higher Education

Uniprint provides everything you need to manage print operations at your college or university, including Beacon Analytics, hosted on our native cloud platform. Beacon Analytics helps reveal the hidden costs in your environment, enabling you to take informed actions that eliminate waste and create a more efficient and sustainable print environment across campus.

In this recorded webinar, you’ll learn what’s new in Pharos Uniprint and some of the future innovations our product teams have been working on.

Optimize Print with Pharos

Learn more about how to simplify print security, increase IT productivity, and cut waste with Pharos Cloud. Schedule a meeting with us today.

Request More Information
Screenshots of Pharos Cloud on mobile and desktop devices.

4 Habits Of Socially Responsible Businesses

There’s a growing trend of businesses taking on social responsibility measures, but not always for the right reasons. Some organizations use social consciousness and sustainable methodologies as a marketing tool or to check a box for the annual report, but many more are authentically concerned with using their business to help people and the environment.

Companies that are truly committed to social responsibility establish and follow an ethical framework as a course of their business, promoting actions that benefit the local environment and society as a whole. One of the best ways to demonstrate your company’s dedication to these ethics is to take the steps required to achieve B Corp certification.

Why B Corps Matter

Many companies, including Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, Seventh Generation, Etsy, and Warby Parker, embrace the B Corp label as a representation of their commitment to social responsibility. As of 2017, the number of certified B Corps had grown to more than 2,300, and that number is likely to continue on its impressive growth trajectory.

B Corps meet the stringent standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency set by the nonprofit B Lab. This organization “serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good.”

The certification process ensures the legitimacy of the data and the intention of the company’s leadership. The use of audits, biennial re-certification, and the thoroughness of the application process virtually ensures that every B Corp is an authentic representation of this commitment.

How B Corps Pay It Forward

B Corps are 28% more likely to hire minorities and women for management positions, 55% more likely to cover some of the cost of health insurance for workers, and 45% more likely to provide bonuses to nonexecutive workers.

Moreover, companies that take on the B Corp certification challenge are four times more likely to pay for professional development opportunities for their employees and more likely to give employees paid volunteer days in the community. These stats help illustrate how B Corps help to establish higher-quality jobs while also improving lives in their local communities. And while these examples clearly show how B Corps benefit themselves and others by providing value for their employees and communities, some organizations contribute on a much larger scale.

At Patagonia, for example, their love of wild and endangered places compels them to significant preservation and restoration work. In addition to being the gold standard of supply chain management (i.e., verifying every detail of what goes into its products), this B Corp donates time, services, and at least 1% of its sales to hundreds of grassroots organizations all over the world that work to help reverse the tide of environmental degradation.

Patagonia’s collective efforts have contributed more than $185 million to conservation efforts, and it has invested $38 million in companies and ventures with socially responsible models. It is an excellent example of a company executing on its social mission.

4 Ways to Become More Socially and Environmentally Responsible

Even if you’re not quite ready for the strenuous B Corp certification process, there are other ways to move toward that goal. Here are four things you can do to put your organization on a path to sustainability and social responsibility.

Read the full article at Innovation Enterprise >>