Ask the Board – September 3, 2019 | MIKE WHITE

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“What role does the AV integrator have in regards to network security for digital signage networks?”


Today’s AV integrator has to be knowledgeable about both AV and IT best practices. Digital signage players must be able to reside on the network and navigate to the web, since most of today’s digital signage management software is cloud-based. With that inherent need, there is always some liability to network security.   

While, to my knowledge, there have been very few digital signage networks hacked. Thorough discussion about the network needs and expectations of your digital signage player with the IT department are a high priority. Today, the majority of digital signage players exist in both the android and windows world. (Windows-based players tend to have greater capability, but the separation on capacity to perform gets smaller every year with better android players.) Windows-based players regularly get updated from Microsoft to address potential security exposure and other enhancements, which suggest some limited liability using windows- based players. (The harsh reality is that there are many more people hacking windows-based systems, and there are many more viruses on the windows side.) 

However, working proactively with your customer’s IT department can greatly reduce any exposure. Setting the digital signage players on a VLan is a common practice to isolate the players from their main network. Your customer’s domain requirements also have to be considered, and testing must be done prior to deployment to ensure domain requirements do not hinder or stop digital signage players from working as expected.  

The main role of the AV IT integrator selling digital signage to an organization is to be proactive with the customer’s IT department and present the needs and expectations that both integrator and IT leadership must have well in advance of deployment. For me, Android players are a better choice if what you hope to achieve can be accomplished on that platform. On a very important note, states like California has passed legislation SB-327 that will impact all network devices protected by passwords. (Please see CA SB-327.)

 

 

 

About Author

Senior Solutions Specialist
Unified Technology Systems

MEMBER OF THE DSE ADVISORY BOARD
Pro AV Council

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