Category Archives: Kiosk Software

Kiosk London – The UK Exhibition for the Self Service Industry

The UK’s only conference and exhibition completely dedicated to the self-service industry returns to The Barbican Centre on the 15th-16th October 2014. This will be the show’s fourth year and with all of the U.K’s leading solutions providers exhibiting this year, it is promising to be an exciting event.

Source: www.kiosklondon.co.ukoct2014009(167 x 74)

Co-located with Digital Signage London, the show acts as the central meeting point for strategic customer service mangers, managing directors, VPs, Marketing and brand managers, kiosk and self-service project managers, purchasers and heads of IT responsible for the implementation self-service solutions and technologies throughout the UK.

KIOSK LONDON EXPO 2014

Introduction

KIOSK LONDON EXPO will return to The Barbican in London on the 15th and 16th October 2014. This will mark the shows fourth year and reflects its status as the favoured event for all those responsible for the implementation of self-service solutions and technologes throughout the UK, Europe and beyond.

This year, for the second time, the show will be co-located with DIGITAL SIGNAGE LONDON, providing a unique opportunity to discover the best that the consumer interactivity industry has to offer, from the comfort and convenience of London’s Barbican Centre.

The Show

KIOSK LONDON EXPO 2014 and DIGITAL SIGNAGE LONDON 2014 is the United Kingdom’s combined self-service and digital signage event. With a high number of self-service and digital signage solutions companies exhibiting this year, it is promising to be an insightful and exciting event. The show acts as the central meeting point for strategic customer service managers, managing directors, VPs, marketing and brand managers, purchasers and heads of IT responsible for the implementation of self-service solutions and technologies. “The UK is at the forefront of self-service and digital signage deployment,” commented Jens Schindler, managing director, hf media & events. “KIOSK LONDON EXPO 2014 and DIGITAL SIGNAGE LONDON 2014 will provide an unparalleled platform to showcase the latest advances in customer service solutions from top suppliers and innovators, bringing the industry together and strengthening the UK’s self-service and digital signage market.” Preregistrations include well-known managing directors and decision makers from the UK’s top retail brands, leading high street banks, transportation firms, hospitality companies, fast food retailers and healthcare providers.

Industry Know-how

Visitors will have a unique opportunity to see, experience and discuss the very latest advances in customer service solutions from top suppliers and innovators from Britain and beyond.

There will be a forum programme featuring an extensive series of presentations, all of which are free to attend. These presnetantion will explore a wide variety of issues relating to self-service  and digital signage including some you will probably not have thought about before. The forum has attracted some of the industry’s most influential and authoritative speakers.

The full programme is available online at www.kiosklondon.co.uk and www. digitalsignagelondon.co.uk.

Gold Sponsors

The 2014 Gold Sponsors for KIOSK LONDON EXPO are Star Micronics, Protouch, Cammax and Provisio.

“Kiosk London Expo provides Star with an excellent platform to demonstrate its extensive portfolio of industry-leading products, advanced driver and platform support for mPOS applications and pioneering approach to a wide range of high quality end users and system integrators. With an ever increasing number of relevant visitors each year, Kiosk London is clearly going from strength to strength. We look forward to another successful show this year.”, said Annette Tarlton, Marketing Director, Star Micronics EMEA.

10 Reasons to attend

Customer service – customer service is key to repeat sales and customer satisfaction. The event will feature Kiosk and digital signage technology built to improve and satisfy the customer experience.

Influential speakers – this year we have some well known influential speakers keeping you up to date with the best advances in technology and an insight into what customers really want. Along the way, you’ll get to explore a wide variety of issues relating to self-service and digital signage markets.

Topics to be covered include multi-channel retailing and the effect of a digital culture on consumers.

Networking – connect with industry professionals, share knowledge and make new business contacts.

Interactive technology – experience the latest advances in interactive consumer technology for yourself.

Free consultancy – discuss your business plans informally with experienced professionals.

Your technical questions answered – informed technical support is a key reason for attendance.

Future-proofing your technology – gain a better understanding of what is on the technology horizon, and discuss the opportunities they offer your business in the future.

Understanding capex, opex and ROI issues – with the financial imperative now firmly installed at the boardroom level, there has never been a better time to get a better grasp on these accounting issues.

Understanding convergence – technology is evolving rapidly. As a result, previously disparate businesses are now converging on the technical level. This show will help you gain a solid understanding of how these issues affect you and your business.

 

Kiosk Software Basics – Part 2 Kiosk Security

Kiosk Software Basics – Part 2 Kiosk Security

 Welcome to the second article in my series on kiosk softwareRedswimmer development. My goal for this series of articles is to give an overview on the basics of developing kiosk software that’s both a joy for your customers to use and adheres to the guidelines of PCI-Compliance. This is more of a series of general guidelines and tips based on my 7+ years of experience developing and dealing with other people’s kiosk
software not a comprehensive how-to guide. When I use the term “kiosk software” I’m referring to any  software running on a kiosk in a self-service (unattended) environment regardless of the technology  used.

This second article will focus on the security aspects of “hardening” your kiosk software to ensure that your kiosk is always running smoothly and your customer’s information is safe from malicious users.

Prevent the kiosk user from tampering with the Operating System

One malicious user can screw up your entire kiosk experience for all your other customers by tampering with the operating system (OS) or simply by shutting down your kiosk software. Protecting the OS requires that you ensure that your kiosk software is always running and that the user cannot do anything but use your kiosk exactly as intended. There’s many different ways the user can tamper with the OS including but not limited to pressing system hotkeys (i.e. ctrl-alt-del, alt-tab. etc…) or just plain shutting down your kiosk software. Follow along as I elaborate on one of the most challenging aspects of kiosk software development which is securing your kiosk software.

Filter the keyboard

You must block all system hotkeys like ctrl-alt-del, alt-tab, etc… otherwise it will be very easy for users to shutdown your kiosk software and tamper with the OS. This was probably the most difficult challenge we faced across all of our kiosk software projects. To accomplish this we ended up creating a kernel mode keyboard filter driver that can block any undesirable keystrokes. Microsoft has created a great example C++ project here to get you started http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/windowshardware/Kbfiltr-WDF-Version-685ff5c4.

Why must I create a kernel mode driver you ask? Because your kiosk software does not have the authority to block keystrokes like ctrl-alt-del. In order to overcome this limitation there needs to be a “partnership” between your kiosk software and the keyboard filter driver. Here is what a typical use scenario looks like:

    1. The kiosk software provides a way for the kiosk admin to define which keystrokes should be blocked
    2. The kiosk software stores these blocked keystrokes in the registry
    3. The keyboard filer driver checks the registry to see which keystrokes should be blocked and filters them from the keyboard buffer

Run your kiosk software under a Windows limited user account

As a general precaution it makes sense to run your kiosk software under a Windows limited user account NOT AS ADMINISTRATOR. This way it limits the likely hood that your kiosk software will do something naughty and mess with the OS. This may seem like overkill since it’s your kiosk software that’s running but it’s just a good precaution especially when dealing with 3rd party websites or dlls. This is not required but it is a good idea so don’t be lazy and run your kiosk software as Administrator.

Restrict the web browser’s surfing area

Assuming that your kiosk software allows the customer to view web pages you’ll want to restrict the web browser’s “surfing area” so the customer can only view the websites that you intend them to.

The easiest way to do this is by allowing the kiosk admin to define a whitelist in your kiosk software of acceptable URLs. Adding support for regular expressions can make the URL whitelist much more powerful. You’ll also want to make sure to configure the appropriate settings in the web browser to ensure that users cannot do things like download files or run ActiveX controls. Internet Explorer and other web browsers have built in support for “crippling” the web browser so check these out.

Block pop-up dialogs from 3rd party software

When most people think of pop-up windows they think of web browser popups. I’m actually referring to dialog windows that popup up from 3rd party software (i.e. it is time to update software X).  Dialog windows can interrupt the operation of your kiosk software or worse allow the user to perform operations that could compromise the security of your kiosk (i.e. launching explorer, task manager, etc).   In short your kiosk software should act as a police officer and shutdown all pop-up dialogs from 3rd party software running on your kiosk.

Summary

Securing your kiosk software is probably one of the most daunting tasks for beginners but is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that your kiosk software is always running smoothly and that your customer’s information is protected. Securing your kiosk requires getting out of the comfort zone of your own kiosk software and creating a partnership between your kiosk software and kernel mode drivers, Windows services, etc… If writing kernel mode drivers in C++ is not for you then please check out an off-the-shelf kiosk lockdown solution like our product KioskSimple (www.KioskSimple.com). This way you can focus on developing your kiosk software and leave the security of your kiosk to us.

The next article in my series will focus on PCI-Compliance and accepting payments from your kiosk software. Please follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/kiosksimple or Twitter @kiosksimple