Procuring Your Agency’s Secure Digital Displays

Most people understand that when devices connect to networks, they can become a security risk.

But think about the large digital displays many agencies use to direct visitors and share information with employees. While not traditional devices, these displays must still be protected when they connect to networks.

“Anything with an IP address is suspect,” said Mike Bahniuk, Director of Federal at Samsung, an electronics and IT solutions provider. “Security is paramount at all different levels.”

Bahniuk outlined three ways agencies can procure secure digital displays that meet all their communication and collaboration needs.

1. Reduce Risks

For better or worse, modern devices are more connected than ever. Digital displays are no exception, and many contemporary models boast everything from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi connectivity.

For agencies, these capabilities can become a double-edged sword. While letting workers broadcast their presentations in conference rooms can be valuable, it can also leave their agencies vulnerable to cyberthreats. Attackers can reach agencies’ networks through digital displays and cause trouble.

“The security piece outweighs the convenience from connectivity,” Bahniuk said.

Before procuring digital displays, agencies should determine which connectivity capabilities may put them at risk. Ultimately, these decisions will help agencies avoid displays that endanger their resilience.

2. Protect Data

Agencies considering digital displays should also carefully consider how these machines retain their data. After all, no agency can risk digital displays accidentally showing their sensitive information too long.

To avoid this problem, agencies should factor data screen retention and memory volatility into their digital display procurements. Digital screen retention happens when screens retain data or images for longer than necessary. Memory volatility, meanwhile, features the display’s memory – or the memory of another connected device – storing information for problematic amounts of time.

“Now, as soon as they’re off, all that memory and data retention is gone,” Bahniuk said of newer digital displays.

3. Focus on Compliance

Currently, agencies must comply with global, federal, state and local rules about everything from data privacy to supply chain origins. Digital displays are not immune to these regulations, so buying the right one can help agencies meet their compliance requirements more easily.

Take the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (TAA), which governs trading pacts between the United States and other nations. TAA can forbid federal contracts from procuring noncompliant products and services; for digital displays, the legislation’s stamp of approval designates which ones come from TAA-friendly countries.

Overall, companies like Samsung can connect agencies with digital displays that boost their resilience by avoiding security incidents. Whether military bases, post offices or other government locations use these displays, no agency wants their mission disrupted.

“It really has a lot to do with the government use case,” Bahniuk said of each agency’s needs. “We are helping them with their mission and their citizen experience.”

This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent guide, “Bouncing Back: How Your Agency Can Handle Disruption and Embrace Resilience.” Download the full guide here.

This article originally appeared on July 13, 2021.

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