The importance of secure kiosk software

Sept. 13, 2017 | by Chris Gilder

Source: iStock.com

As interactive kiosks expand in unattended locations, deployers naturally want to be sure that the kiosks will not be tampered with. Tampering can cause kiosks to stop functioning properly, which creates negative customer experiences and additional costs to the deployer.

Secure kiosk software can manage these concerns, and it is critical to a successful kiosk installment.

Kiosk software determines how users interact with the solution and how the solution is maintained. When devices need to operate independently in an unattended environment, there are concerns that must be addressed. What is done to secure the physical kiosk from tampering? This is especially important when it comes to transactional kiosks that handle payment. Additionally, how is a deployer notified of issues with kiosks on location? 

Simple solutions exist

There are inexpensive and simple solutions for secure kiosk software. Such software provides the option to “whitelist” and “blacklist” particular websites. Whitelisting enables businesses and organizations to create a specific list of web pages or URLs that users are allowed to view. Blacklisting allows businesses and organizations to create a list of URLs that users are specifically denied. For instance, if a kiosk is being used by internal employees for HR purposes, the employer might blacklist social media websites or simply whitelist the specific web pages employees are supposed to use.

Kiosks can also lock down web content in a secure browser like Chrome’s Kiosk mode or mKiosk by Firefox. However, these will not control port access, USB access or report on component functionality. For this, a more advanced software is required.

A secure software platform enables a deployer to integrate multiple peripheral components, customize security and monitor devices remotely.

Remote management

Remote monitoring allows deployers to monitor the health of the kiosk operating system and software, along with accompanying hardware.

With remote monitoring, deployers are notified if either the physical unit or the software has been accessed inappropriately, either by email or text message. With remote monitoring, a secure kiosk software platform will be able to support multi-permission level access. Multi-user access can be used for alerts, security updates and pushing new content to the kiosk.

Remote monitoring also allows kiosk deployers to customize what the severity of each alarm is and determine who an alert should go to. For instance, if a low paper roll is 80 percent empty, that alert might go to the local store owner. When the low paper reaches 90 percent empty, that alert could be escalated and sent to the district manager who is able to call the store to find out why it’s not being replaced.

Secure kiosk software is important because it helps companies protect their kiosk investment and ensure a successful ROI.


 


Topics: Customer Experience, Software



Chris Gilder
Chris Gilder, CEO and founder of Meridian Kiosks, brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial successes to the senior management team. Meridian has been recognized as a leader in the self-service kiosk industry and an innovator with the development of the Self Service Technology Center in partnership with Intel, HP, Microsoft, Zebra Technologies and Storm. www

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