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Digital Signage Security Guide for Enhanced Government Transparency

More than half of the world's population lives in urban areas. To put this into numbers, that means 4.4 billion people. Effectively reaching a public of thousands, even millions, is one of the most common challenges municipalities and governments face nowadays. In today's digital era, government transparency is more important than ever, as it is a public expectation.

Today's article delves into the role of digital signage in meeting this expectation, enhancing communication and promoting openness within government operations. By leveraging this technology, authorities can share information more effectively, fostering trust and engagement with the public. 

Keep reading to discover


How Digital Signage Enhances Public Communication


Digitalisation is on everyone's lips these days. From modernising public spaces such as crowded city centres to helping companies communicate more effectively with their employees, this technology truly has the potential to change how we experience life in cities all over the globe.  

Digital signage refers to the technology that uses screens designed for indoor or outdoor use to communicate with a specific audience. You can use displays to showcase all sorts of content, from the most important news regarding government decisions and policy changes to celebrating important milestones. Moreover, the tech powering these signs nowadays is so advanced that you can also use it interactively – helping people find their way around huge buildings, and swiftly managing crowds. 

To learn more about how this technology can elevate urban life and make cities smarter, read this article. 

For public institutions, digital signs are solving the issue of effectively reaching millions of people at once. This tool offers a cost-effective solution that is user-friendly and easy to maintain, provided that you choose the right hardware and software solutions for your needs.


The Benefits of Digital Signage in Public Services


Using digital displays in public spaces has four main advantages. Overall, it improves communication with employees and with the community, enhancing their access to public information, it saves time and money compared to traditional means of advertising and it can be used for assistance in places where dedicated staff is not present. 

Let us go over each benefit in more detail.  


1. Improving Communication with Employees

To begin with, digital signs offer a dynamic and engaging way to communicate important information to government employees. From updates about policy changes to announcements of upcoming events, digital signage ensures that employees are well-informed in real time, enhancing internal communication and overall workplace efficiency.

Recent research suggests that 85% of employees [1] feel motivated when they receive regular updates from management regarding the institution’s core values, news and updates. Moreover, digital displays in the workplace play a crucial role in employee recognition, inspiring more than half of them (60%) to work harder when they feel appreciated [2]. 


2. Enhancing Accessibility to Public Information 

By deploying digital screens in public spaces, governments can enhance the accessibility of information. These signs can display everything from real-time public transit updates to important health advisories, making critical information easily accessible to all citizens, including those who might not have access to the internet or other traditional media.

Moreover, studies show that using digital signs for advertising boasts an impressive recall rate of 83%, which is almost double the retention rate of traditional advertising methods[3].


3. Saving Time and Money 

Implementing digital signage is a cost-effective solution for government buildings. By reducing the need for printed materials and enabling instant updates over the network, digital screens cut down on ongoing expenses and reduce waste, saving time and resources in managing communication with the public.

This is especially important when thinking about the importance of promoting environmentally friendly practices. Public institutions need to lead the way in this regard, to encourage other sectors to join their efforts to achieve a global reduction in overall CO2 emissions.  


4. Offering Assistance in Unsupervised Areas

In places such as parks, remote government facilities or during after-hours, digital signs can provide essential information and guidance to citizens. This can include everything from interactive maps to FAQs, offering assistance where human staff might not be available.

Furthermore, digital screens can be used to promote local businesses and events, encouraging people to connect and discover new and exciting activities. 

Implementing Digital Signage while Complying with Government Transparency

protect digital signage systems

As public institutions seek to implement this technology, understanding the legal framework and compliance requirements is crucial. Ensuring that digital systems adhere to existing laws and standards protects both the public and government entities from potential legal challenges. 

The deployment of digital screens in public spaces involves several key legal considerations outlined below. Complying with them contributes to maintaining transparency and fostering public trust.

1. Keep Data Private


This should go without saying, but if you are using digital signs to collect data from the public, making sure this data is kept private and not shared with external parties is of utmost importance. 

Depending on the country your institution resides, there are different guidelines set in place that all institutions need to follow. For instance, in the European Union, institutions must abide by the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).  


2. Check the Latest Policies 


As new technologies like AI, IoT and VR are experiencing unprecedented public interest, it is extremely important to check whether these tools have been approved for public use and under what conditions it is advisable to use them. Look for legal guidelines from established institutions that are trustworthy before deciding to integrate something like AI into digital signage systems. 

3. Using Biometric Identification 


Biometric identity markers like fingerprints and face recognition are tricky to use because they are still not reliable enough. Institutions that want to implement these extra steps for security reasons should keep in mind that the rate of false positives or false negatives is quite high even to this day. This means that instead of streamlining processes, incorporating these technologies might hinder them, leading to frustration and potential legal complications. 

Furthermore, suppose a public institution wants to use these identification techniques outside of employee settings. In that case, it must comply with the national security policies of that country in addition to the privacy laws and regulations previously discussed. 

4. Make Sure Your Systems are Safe from Hackers 


Last but not least, you need to make sure your devices as well as the servers storing the data gathered are safe from a cybersecurity perspective. To help accomplish this, the software infrastructure being used to power the displays must abide by the highest standards of security currently in place. 

When searching for the right company to buy your software from, you should look for security certifications like ISO 27001 or SOC 2. 

Choosing Trustworthy Digital Signage 


Digital technologies are continuously evolving, with innovations enhancing how information can be shared with audiences. For instance, advances in software allow for more dynamic, responsive and interactive digital signs that can change content based on real-time data and user interaction.

These technologies not only make digital signage more effective but also more engaging for the public, promoting greater transparency and understanding of government activities and services. Here is an overview of what you should look for to find secure software and hardware.


1. Restricting User Access


One of the first decisions to make when using digital signs is who has access to what. Our advice is to look for content management software that allows you to restrict user access based on the role they have in the project. 

To help you decide how to arrange this in your signage software, here are three questions to ask yourself:

  • What access level is needed? Is it for the entire network, just a section or a display?
  • What is the role of the user, in other words, what does the user need to do?
  • Is full access to the software needed?

Upon answering these questions you might decide to allow the public relations department to access content management and creation features, meanwhile giving the IT department access to server settings. 

By limiting access to sensitive data and features to only authorised personnel, institutions can minimise the risk of data breaches and unauthorised access. This is particularly important when dealing with confidential information.


2. Advanced Login Options


Next, you need to look for software that has in place extra security features like 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) or One Time Passwords (OTP). Thanks to data breaches, malware, and other forms of cyberattacks, it is nearly impossible to secure an online or mobile account using just a password. Most times, systems can be compromised due to a password that is easy to hack.

2FA is an additional layer of security used to ensure that only authenticated users gain access to an online account. First, you just log in normally by using your username and password. This gives you direct access to your account straight away. But when 2FA is active you will need to add extra information. This information can be a code from an authentication app on your phone, a code sent by SMS or even a fingerprint or facial recognition. 


3. Lock External HDMI and USB Ports 


Moving on, it is crucial to prevent unauthorised access through physical means by locking external ports like HDMI and USB. This prevents people from trying to tamper with the screens, which could compromise the entire network. Any software system for managing digital signs should offer the possibility to lock access using external ports. 





Digital signs represent a significant leap in the way governments communicate with their citizens. By implementing this technology, public institutions can deliver timely, relevant and accessible information, thereby enhancing transparency and fostering a more informed public.

However, to foster transparency, it is crucial to ensure that the screens comply with national legal frameworks and policies, keeping the stored data safe and protecting the network from cyberattacks. 

As we continue to navigate the digital age, the role of digital signage in urban environments and government operations will likely expand, bringing new opportunities to enhance public engagement and operational efficiency.

Useful Resources 


[1] 11 Remarkable Workplace Statistics to Know: https://www.apollotechnical.com/workplace-communication-statistics/

[2] What Is Employee Engagement and How Do You Improve It?: https://www.gallup.com/workplace/285674/improve-employee-engagement-workplace.aspx

[3] 15 Surprising Statistics about Digital Signage: https://www.databeat.net/databeatblog/15-surprising-statistics-about-digital-signage



Most Popular FAQs about Digital Signage for Governments

How can digital signage improve public communication?

Digital signs offer a dynamic platform for broadcasting important updates, emergency alerts and everyday information, ensuring that the public stays informed in real-time.

Why should governments invest in digital signage?

Governments should invest in this technology as it provides a cost-effective, engaging and environmentally friendly way to communicate with the public, reducing reliance on traditional paper-based methods.

What are the legal considerations for using digital signage in public spaces?

Legal considerations include complying with data protection laws, ensuring content accessibility and adhering to public communication standards to avoid misinformation.

What are the best practices for implementing digital signage securely?

Best practices include using encrypted connections, regular security audits, compliance with global security standards and incorporating advanced security features like 2FA and biometric verifications.

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