Windows Kiosk Mode vs. Kiosk Software

A common question I hear from new clients is “why would I want to use kiosk software when I can just use kiosk mode in Windows 8 (aka Assigned Access)?”

This is a fair question, so I’m going to explain the limitations of Windows Kiosk Mode and when there is a need for kiosk software.

The short answer is that kiosk software makes up for the short comings in Windows Kiosk Mode and adds an additional layer of security and ease of use to get you up and running quickly without all the headaches.

Our kiosk software is designed to be so simple that no nerd degree is required.

secure kiosk software

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System Downtime May Be Costing You More Than You Think

Does your system have too much downtime and you don’t even know it?  Are customer running away to your competitors without your knowledge?

The answer may be YES if your system experiences regular downtime and worst of all you may not even be aware of the extent of the damage until your reputation has been irreparably tarnished.

The term ‘downtime’ derives from when a system, combination of systems, or any application or service is unable to perform a desired operation. Downtime can be expected and scheduled, such as planned maintenance, or it can be an unintended interruption of service such as a server overload or device failure.

This article is intended to help broaden your thinking about the costs and types of system downtime.

kiosk out of order

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How To Disable The Windows Charms Bar on Your Kiosk

If you operate a self-service kiosk or unattended payment terminal running Windows 8 with a touchscreen then you’ve probably noticed that pesky Windows charms bar that pops up all the time.

This cute looking charms bar is a huge security vulnerability since it allows users to navigate away from your kiosk application and tamper with the operating system.

Fortunately, disabling the Windows charms bar can be easily achieved with kiosk software.

windows charms bar

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How to Dramatically Increase Your Kiosk Applications Performance with Local Caching – Part 2

smart_clientIf your kiosk regularly synchronizes data with a remote server then you may have the opportunity to dramatically improve your kiosks performance by making use of your kiosks local storage.  By caching data locally it allows your kiosk to respond more quickly to user input by reducing the amount of time your kiosk spends waiting on a response from the server.

In the second part of this 2-part series I’ll cover a couple cool options for persistent local storage in the web browser.  In part one I covered the benefits of caching data locally on your kiosk, the sort of data you’ll want to cache and some helpful tips for caching.

The three main advantages of caching data locally on your kiosk

  1. Increases the responsiveness of your kiosk
  2. Reduces the load on your server
  3. Lowers bandwidth requirements

Continue reading “How to Dramatically Increase Your Kiosk Applications Performance with Local Caching – Part 2”

How to Dramatically Increase Your Kiosk Applications Performance with Local Caching – Part 1

smart_clientIf your kiosk regularly synchronizes data with a remote server then you may have the opportunity to dramatically improve your kiosks performance by making use of your kiosks local storage.  By caching data locally it allows your kiosk to respond more quickly to user input by reducing the amount of time your kiosk spends waiting on a response from the server.

In the first part of this 2-part series I’m going to cover the benefits of caching data locally on your kiosk, the sort of data you’ll want to cache and some helpful tips for caching.  In part two I’ll cover a couple cool options for persistent local storage in the web browser. Continue reading “How to Dramatically Increase Your Kiosk Applications Performance with Local Caching – Part 1”

A Guide to Hacking Kiosk Applications

kiosksimplechassis_smallI’ve asked our kiosk application developers to come up with their best ideas on how they would go about hacking a kiosk application and compiled a list for you reading pleasure.  This is not intended to be a list of known exploits for any specific kiosk application, but rather a list of things our kiosk application developers would try if we were so inclined to hack a kiosk application.  We choose to focus on hacking the kiosk application itself not the hardware.  So brilliant ideas like tying the kiosk to the bumper of your pickup truck will not be included.  Disclaimer, this article is for educational purposes only to help you improve the security of your kiosk applications so don’t try this on a kiosk without permission. Continue reading “A Guide to Hacking Kiosk Applications”

Protecting Your Kiosks From BadUSB Malware

Kiosk hacking with BadUSBIf your kiosks have any of their USB ports exposed then watch out, because your kiosks are vulnerable to a recently discovered security vulnerability.  According to a recent USB security article in Wired the security researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell have demonstrated how their malware called BadUSB “can be installed on a USB device and used to completely take over a PC, invisibly alter files installed from the memory stick, or even redirect the user’s internet traffic.” Continue reading “Protecting Your Kiosks From BadUSB Malware”

What is Kiosk Software?

Kiosk software running on a kioskKiosk software is a security application specifically designed to transform a PC or tablet into a self-service kiosk.  The kiosk software is also responsible for locking down your kiosks operating system to prevent malicious user tampering, which is why kiosk software is often referred to as “kiosk lockdown software.”

Some common features of kiosk software include:

Ensures that your kiosk application is always running

In most cases the kiosk operator will desire to deliver their content in the form of a website or native application running on their kiosk.  An example of a native application for a kiosk running Microsoft Windows would be a .NET WPF application.  For the sake of brevity, for the remainder of this article I’m going to refer to the website or native application running on your kiosk as “your kiosk application.”

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EMV Compliance vs. PCI Compliance

Ingenico iSelf-Series Kiosk EMV DeviceWhat’s the difference between EMV compliance and PCI compliance?  The short answer is they’re both guidelines for protecting cardholder data for the purpose preventing fraud, but they focus on different elements of the credit card transaction.

“To clarify it even further and more simply, PCI is about making sure the card data doesn’t get stolen and is secure in the first place and EMV is making sure if the data IS stolen that the content is rendered useless.” – CPI PCI and EMV: What’s the difference? Continue reading “EMV Compliance vs. PCI Compliance”