Selling into Government Projects is No Easy Task

Jeff Hastings, CEO, BrightSign

Security is a growing concern for any customer considering a digital signage roll-out. This holds especially true in government projects, where security regulations are much more stringent than in the private sector. Selling into government accounts is a rigorous process, especially when you consider the large number of government agencies and the often-complicated process of being cleared to sell into those agencies.

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) plays an important role in IT security across all government organizations. DISA-certified products undergo a rigorous testing & evaluation process and are pre-approved for sale into many government agencies.

Above all else, the government expects hardware security to be infallible. For example, when any piece of hardware is added to a government network, it is critical that the hardware itself is 100% locked down until prompted by a systems administrator. BrightSign players are among a minority of players that can be configured to await instructions on how, when and IF the player connects to the internet. This is a critical aspect of security within government applications.

Another important consideration when scoping out hardware for government projects is the likelihood of a particular piece of hardware being hacked and used to distribute nefarious content or, even worse, used to invade privacy, cripple businesses or endanger lives. Any device connected over a network is at risk of being breached or corrupted, therefore it’s important to specify a player running a commercial grade, purpose-built operating system. Signage networks running consumer operating systems such as Windows and Android are constantly being attacked by hackers and incapable of being “locked down” the same way a network of BrightSign players running the BrightSign OS can.

The TAA (the Trade Agreements Act of Congress) imposes additional requirements for federal government purchases. BrightSign is proud to offer both DISA and TAA compliant products.

Selling into government agencies is difficult, and very few digital signage solutions – especially PC-based and Android solutions – meet the standards set by DISA and other regulatory bodies. And while the scenarios described above pertain to government projects, similar network vulnerabilities exist in virtually any internet-connected signage network – worthwhile information to consider when scoping out your next digital signage installation.