Security Matters!

Imagine this: One morning, you sit down at your laptop with a cup of coffee and log on to your favorite social media site. To your surprise, you find the name of your business is listed as a trending topic. Hundreds, even thousands of posts about your business have been made in the last few hours.

At first, you’re excited. After all, going viral is every social media manager’s goal. But why have you gone viral now? What is everybody talking about?

You click on your business’ name and that’s when you make a terrible discovery. Overnight, someone hacked your network via the cheap security camera you just bought online. The hackers got into your customer files, installed ransomware on your workstations and found the digital sign on your storefront or in your lobby. Instead of showing the daily specials or educational marketing information, that digital sign is broadcasting explicit adult content to everyone who walks by!

So, pictures and videos of your hacked sign, in your business, are spreading across the internet like wildfire. Think that sounds like some far-fetched science fiction story? It happened to a digital sign outside of the Chipotle restaurant in Washington, D.C.’s Union Station during the afternoon rush hour last year.

Similar horror stories are easy to find online, from a digital billboard in Atlanta, whose regular content was replaced with the picture of a man’s naked posterior, to digital road signs in Dallas that were re-programmed to display vulgar messages rather than important safety information.

It’s a nightmare no one ever wants to experience because there really is such a thing as bad publicity. Digital signs can be incredibly useful tools for businesses, but they’re also a point of vulnerability. Malicious hackers seek them out ,not only to play highly visible and potentially destructive pranks, but also in search of backdoors to break into your business’ network.

That’s why the security of digital signage matters—to protect both your business’ reputation and its systems. And that’s why in designing and supporting the Display.Works device, security is our top priority.

Any digital sign, security camera, thermostat, doorbell connected to the internet becomes a part of the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is the network of millions of “smart” devices that connect to the internet and share data, from televisions to toasters to exercise trackers.

The vast network created by these products is extremely vulnerable and the source of a lot of headaches for people concerned with protecting privacy and security. While nothing can ever be perfectly secure, the Display.Works system includes features that make it more secure than most Internet of Things (IoT) devices available today.

To begin with, Display.Works is a single-purpose device that is designed and hard-coded to do one thing and one thing only: Connect to the Display.Works server and display one specific webpage that you have chosen.

Unlike the laptop or desktop computer you might have used to run your sign before, the Display.Works device cannot be easily redirected to another site with the click of a mouse. And the single-purpose device doesn’t contain anything else, like financial information, that hackers could access through it.

The Display.Works device runs on Linux, an operating system less frequently targeted by malware than Windows. When running a digital sign off of a PC or Mac, one of the major headaches is the need to make sure you’re keeping current on security updates as they come out. If you miss an update, your computer and signage become extremely vulnerable, since the updates themselves act as notifications to malicious hackers of weaknesses that exist.

You can set your system to auto-update, but what if it tries to update in the middle of business hours, when you need your sign working? Display.Works takes care of this issue for you. The monthly subscription fee includes regular security updates done outside of business hours. That way you can feel confident that your system is up to date and protected without the hassle of managing it yourself.

The monthly fee also includes monitoring of your sign and notification if it goes down. That helps to ensure that if there ever is a problem with your digital signage, you’ll find out about it before it hits Facebook!

Ultimately, security matters to every business. Digital signs need to be secured just like any other important system. With the Display.Works device and monthly subscription, you get a highly secure device with the updating and monitoring necessary to keep it secure.

And that will help to ensure that when your business gets a lot of attention, it will be for all the right reasons!