Fire OS kiosk security: How to keep your devices safe?

Lizzie Warren

Mar 22, 2023

10 min read

Let’s just imagine running a bustling restaurant with Fire OS kiosk devices. It helps customers to place orders quickly and efficiently. However, as much as they appreciate the convenience, they are understandably worried about the potential security risks associated with these devices. You wouldn’t want your customers to feel worried or uncomfortable while making transactions at your kiosks, right? So, how can you make sure that your kiosks are secure and your customers feel safe? 🤔

No worries, we will help you! Let’s delve into the world of Fire OS kiosk security, exploring the most common risks and sharing the best practices to keep you secure and protected in any kiosk scenario. So read on to discover everything you need to know about Fire OS kiosk security.

Knowing more about Fire OS kiosk

Imagine having the ability to control your device by allowing access only to certain apps and features, thereby guaranteeing smooth and secure business operations. It may sound too good to be true, but with Fire OS kiosk mode, you can make it a reality!

It is a built-in feature of Amazon’s Fire OS that enables businesses to configure their devices to run a single app or a group of apps. Companies can make use of this functionality to manage user experience while restricting user access to other apps or functions on the device. However, kiosk mode also poses security risks, such as those linked to unauthorized access, data theft, and cyberattacks.

The key advantage of Fire OS kiosk mode is that it assists businesses in maintaining control over their devices by prohibiting users from accessing apps or features that they shouldn’t be utilizing. This can help to ensure that devices are used in a manner that is consistent with company policies and guidelines. Businesses can also personalize the user interface of their devices, resulting in a smoother and more targeted user experience.

Fire OS kiosk mode enables businesses to carry out their tasks more quickly and effectively. The chance of device downtime brought on by software incompatibilities or other issues is also decreased by restricting access to non-essential apps and functionalities.

Common Fire OS kiosk security challenges

Businesses usually face difficulties in keeping their Fire OS kiosk mode secure even after implementing the latest security measures and best practices. Furthermore, it’s a common challenge that many face in today’s ever-evolving digital landscape. As mentioned before, some of the security challenges of using Fire OS kiosk mode are as follows:

  • Unauthorized Device Access:

    One of the most frequent security issues for kiosks is unauthorized access to the device. For instance, attackers can take advantage of weaknesses in the system or employ brute force attacks to gain access to the device, potentially compromising sensitive information and creating a significant security risk.

  • Malware and Hacking Attacks:

    Kiosks are susceptible to malware and hacking attacks that might jeopardize the device’s security or collect personal information. Hence, businesses should be always vigilant in monitoring and protecting their devices from these types of attacks to ensure the safety and security of their data.

  • Physical Damage and Theft:

    Another security risk that enterprises should consider is physical damage or theft of the device. Unsecured kiosks are easy targets for theft or damage, consequently resulting in data loss or unauthorized access.

  • Software Incompatibilities:

    As with any software, compatibility issues can arise between different apps and programs running on the kiosk. Moreover, these issues can potentially compromise the security of the device. Therefore, the organization should address them promptly to prevent any vulnerabilities from being exploited.

  • Human Error:

    One of the most overlooked security risks for Fire OS kiosks is human error. In fact, this can range from users accidentally downloading malware to carelessly leaving the device unattended in a public space. Businesses need to educate their employees on best practices for using and securing kiosk devices.

  • Lack of Frequent Updates:

    To address vulnerabilities and guarantee their continued security, kiosk devices, like any other technology, need regular upgrades. A lack of regular updates can leave the device vulnerable to potential security threats, and hence businesses should ensure that their kiosks are up to date with the latest patches and updates.

  • Third-Party App Security:

    If a business uses third-party apps on their Fire OS kiosk, they must ensure that those apps are secure and not posing any risks to the overall security of the device. Vetting third-party apps for security vulnerabilities and keeping them updated is vital to ensuring a secure kiosk environment.

Featured resource

Hexnode Kiosk Solution

Get a glimpse of how easy it is to achieve a purpose-specific environment in your organization with Hexnode.

Download datasheet

Best security practices for Fire OS kiosk mode

The risk of security lapses and cyber-attacks increases as technology develops and gets better. It’s crucial to take preventative steps when using Fire OS kiosk mode to guard against the security dangers that we have already discussed. So, here are some best and healthy practices to follow:

  • Create a strong password or PIN to guard against unwanted access to the device.
  • Switch off any capabilities or applications that are not required for your kiosk, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the camera.
  • Keep your device up to date with the most recent software updates and security patches.
  • Enable device encryption to protect the data stored on the device.
  • Use anti-virus software and anti-malware tools to detect and prevent malicious activity on the device.
  • Limit physical access to the device by placing it in a secure location or using locks and security cables.
  • Implement a firewall to prevent unauthorized access to the device’s network.
  • Regularly monitor and audit the device to detect any security issues or suspicious activity.
  • Provide security awareness training to employees to help them understand their role in keeping the device secure.

Secure your kiosk devices with Hexnode UEM

How does Hexnode UEM join the picture?

In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, there will always be vulnerabilities waiting to be discovered and exploited by cunning hackers. But rather than living in fear of these threats, businesses should take the initiative and equip themselves with the ability to eliminate security vulnerabilities.

Hexnode UEM is the best option to turn the tables on hackers and take control of our kiosk security. This solution offers kiosk management for Android devices, including Amazon Fire tablets. Kiosk mode locks down the device, particularly ensuring greater device security and efficient management. However, Hexnode goes beyond kiosk mode to offer other features that contribute to better security and management.

Its features include:

What is a Fire OS kiosk lockdown software?

What’s more in store?

Hexnode UEM offers many additional kiosk setup choices in addition to the functionalities already described. You may easily restrict access to numerous apps in addition to locking down your device to just one.

Single app kiosk mode

The Fire OS device from Amazon offers the option to lock down the device into a single application or file. This feature allows users to restrict access to other apps and content on the device. Additionally, we can use the App Testing Service (ATS) to check the compatibility of your Android app with the Amazon Fire Tablet.

To increase security, policies can be configured to set kiosk exit password, relaunch app option and scheduled refresh option via Hexnode. Peripheral controls such as volume and brightness can also be restricted, and network access can be limited. And the best part? All these can be done through a single policy.

Furthermore, you can hide background apps without any user interference through app configuration settings. This ensures that the user’s focus remains on the intended application or content without any distractions.

More about ATS 📖

  • Amazon provides an App Testing Service (ATS) to test app compatibility with Amazon Fire Tablet. It performs three tests to analyze how well an app works with the device hardware. These tests include:
    • Compatibility test for software libraries with the Amazon Appstore: This test determines whether the app’s software libraries are appropriate for the Amazon Appstore. It also guarantees that there won’t be any problems with the app’s distribution through the Appstore.
    • Verification of correct calling of Amazon APIs: This test ensures the app’s ability to appropriately call Amazon APIs. Moreover, it guarantees that the app will operate flawlessly with Amazon services.
    • Capability verification test for supporting app features: This test determines whether the device’s capabilities can support the functionalities of the app. In fact, it assures that there won’t be any compatibility issues and that the app will function properly on the device.
  • The ATS widget is available on the Amazon Developer Portal homepage for testing app compatibility. If the app passes the compatibility test, it can be published on the Amazon App Store using a free Amazon developer account.

Multi-app kiosk mode

The Multi App Kiosk Mode allows for limiting user access to a select few crucial applications or file shortcuts. It also enables the configuration of network settings, app restrictions, and peripheral settings. This feature is particularly useful in situations where the device is used by multiple users or when the device is used for a specific purpose, such as in a public display setting.

Web app kiosk mode

With Web app kiosk mode, users can lock Amazon Fire tablets to single or multiple web apps by adding web URLs to the Hexnode Web Console. The Hexnode Kiosk Browser can be used to open the configured web apps and whitelisted web URLs. The browser supports both single and multi-tabbed browsing, providing users with flexibility in their browsing experience.

Digital signage display mode

In this mode, Businesses can upload audio, images or videos from the Hexnode File Manager to specified Fire OS devices and play them either in a loop or as a static display. The IT admins can also play these images in shuffle mode for added variety. This makes it possible to remotely change the brightness and orientation of the screen. Additionally, users can schedule the device to enter sleep mode after playing a specific number of image loops. JPG and PNG for photos, MP4 and Matroska (MKV) for movies, and MP3 and OGG for audio are the supported file types for media files.

Wrapping up

In today’s world, businesses must prioritize the security of their devices, especially those that handle sensitive information. Those who wish to manage their devices and restrict user access can utilize Fire OS kiosk mode, but it has security issues that need to be addressed. By utilizing the best security standards and Hexnode UEM’s kiosk management capabilities, businesses can enhance their security measures, enabling improved device security and simplified management.

So, whether you’re setting up digital signage, interactive kiosks, or point-of-sale systems, don’t forget to prioritize security. Secure your Fire OS kiosk devices for peace of mind! Don’t wait, take action now and safeguard your kiosk devices! Also share this blog with your friends to help them secure their devices! Stay safe and stay tuned for our next post. Goodbye! 👋🏻

Lizzie Warren

A lil clumsy and a whole lot smiley, I'll bump into you with a smile...

Share your thoughts