A watchdog program for your Digital Signage, including monitoring, automatic recovery, and secure remote support functions!

The Watchdog application is designed specifically for Digital Signage support and is based upon our extensive experience of over twenty years of Digital Signage installations and operations.
Many Digital Signage systems use Windows operating systems, and although Windows is an ideal operating system (OS) for Digital Signage (it has widespread use, includes good multimedia capabilities, etc), often the systems are not set up in such a way that make the OS stable to use in this way. Often the computers have many other background applications running which ‘came with the computer’, or have not been setup to prevent users from accessing the computer and bypassing the Digital Signage application or worse! Without even minimal security, accidental or even malicious users can attack the computer and damage it so that it requires repair, or even change it so that it performs a different purpose! Signage Monitor’s System Watchdog solution provides the functions needed to protect your systems, and when used in combination with the Signage Monitor service and Site Manager, also alerts you of incidents which can be quickly resolved remotely.

The System Watchdog is an advanced application designed for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows XP/7 Embedded which is installed on your Digital Signage system you wish to support in the field together with your chosen Digital Signage software. Once installed, it integrates with the Windows Operating System to provide the necessary low level security required when using a computer as a Digital Sign. Even well-known retail brand names and Banking clients use Signage monitor in their Digital Signage as it has passed their stringent security PEN(etration) testing.

Instant Protection
The monitoring begins once the system is powered on,  as the System Watchdog secures access to the operating system through a number of configurable measures. It secures the operating system to prevent local attacks and failures using a combination of keyboard blocking, mouse blocking, System event Popup blocking, banned program interception, telemetry monitoring and application monitoring. If your Digital Signage application fails or is about to fail, the System Watchdog automatically restarts it as required.

Up to Date
To ensure you know about everything that happens, it also communicates securely with the PLUS! network as a regular ‘Heartbeat’ to provide you with live information, alerts and remote connectivity (see Site Manager). And because it includes remote support access (Remote Desktop viewing and control, Remote File Transfer, Multicast updates, Remote Command prompt – all through firewalls or using mobile telephony), it also encrypts all the communications and provides a secure support access onto your Digital Signage player, only accessible by your authorised staff.

A number of core system events (including screens, hard discs, memory and more) are monitored if they exceed key levels, whilst further functionality is provided by our unique plugin system. Custom hardware monitoring (e.g. specific manufacturer screens/devices), and even events from your chosen digital signage solution can use the same security, automatic recovery and alerting tools no matter what the solution.

Signage monitor’s System Watchdog is the solution you need to protect your Digital Signage players.

 

System Information
Provides a quick look-up for; uptime, total reboots, unexpected reboots, connectivity status and screen resolution

Network Information
Shows; the time of the last email, the time for the next scheduled email, unit name, target email address, network connection status and IP address

Recent Alerts
Displays a snapshot of the most recent alerts e.g. HDD over temperature, processor temperature etc.

System Log
Provide a full audit trail of every tracked event on the Digital Signage by timeline, enabling fast tracing of faults by your developers or support staff.

Password Protected
Using a secret key sequence known only to your engineers, or via secure remote access, you can instantly unlock all of the features for the Digital Signage to be worked upon during a site or remote visit, then with one button press, simply invoke all of the security settings again.


Automatic Clock updates
The system clock is regularly checked and updated if necessary in case of BIOS battery failure or hacking attempts to ensure accurate reporting and logging.

Automatic Software updates
All Watchdog functions are automatically updated as new versions become available via the network.


Automatic Volume Control
With more kiosks using sound prompts or voice to be Disabled-friendly, it is important to ensure that when the Digital Signage is installed it’s volume matches the surrounding sound levels as they change throughout the day.


Remote Multicast for Application Updates
Using Signage monitor, you can quickly rollout updates to your Digital Signage and applications using the Multicast facility. This enables file changes/updates, registry changes, etc to automatically rollout to your chosen kiosks.


Heartbeat
Throughout every day, each Digital Signage player regularly connects to one of our PLUS! network servers to confirm it’s operation, upload any error information, and perform a number of housekeeping duties.


Anti Blue Screen of Death (BSoD)
Stop your Digital Signage players crashing and sticking on Microsoft’s debug screen known as the ‘Blue Screen of Death’ – automatically restart and be notified about the fault (note: if the OS cannot reboot due to hardware failure/corrupt image, the fault will not be reported, but instead the Digital Signage player will show a lack of connection fault).


Remote Reboot
Although the Digital Signage Monitoring Watchdog software constantly checks and takes action in the case of faults, you may wish to remotely reboot the kiosk in case of software updates or servicing reasons, and the Watchdog provides a number of ways to do this (note if the OS is frozen this is impossible, however please see plugins for links to hadware watchdogs which can integrate with the software Digital Signage Watchdog)


Wake on LAN
If your LAN card supports it and your Router is configured correctly, you can remotely turn your Digital Signage player on using the Site Manager program in case it has been powered down.


Monitored Levels
Provides your support team with an instant view of all core monitored levels so they can quickly track down any issues (or potential issues) and resolve them. Includes information such as system memory, temperature, battery levels, printer faults, Software/Hardware changes, Event Log events, Hard Disc capacity, faults  and SMART data and more. (note plugins are available for specific devices).

Automatic Firewall Management
Automatically configure and control Windows Firewall and any uPNP enabled firewall/routers to provide instant changes for remote access.


Programmer Interface (API)
Provides a method that your Digital Signage developers can interface to the Watchdog program for logging or monitoring events, connecting to specific hardware devices on a common interface and more.


PC Status
Provides information on all PC hardware, software and services

Triggers
Permits the setup of local triggers so that alerts are sent relating to : hardware or software changes and reboots. Physical and paging memory. Changes to the software operating system. Hard disk drive (HDD) usage. Printer problems.

Programs and Application Settings
Specify the programs which MUST be running to make your Digital Signage work, and include a list of programs you never want to run to prevent typical virus carriers or conflicting applications. Digital Signage Watchdog constantly monitors the mandatory applications and ensures they remain on-top of other windows, and any failures or memory/resource leaks are automatically recovered from.

System Settings
Change Widows background and desktop image to hide operating system branding. Choose optimal Paging Memory  settings, Change Windows Startup Logo.

Lock-Down Settings
Choose to activate any or all of the following :

  • Completely replace the normal Windows Desktop with a secure Watchdog desktop, or choose from a combination of security settings
  • Turn off Power Saving
  • Turn off Screen Saver
  • Disable Windows Auto Updates
  • Disable Firewall Messages
  • Disable Balloon Tips
  • Automatic Logon
  • Disable AutoPlay
  • Disable Low Disk Space Warnings and Cleanup
  • Prohibit Access to Control Panel
  • Prevent Access to Command Prompt
  • Deny All Access to Removable Storage
  • Prevent Access to Registry Editing Tools
  • Deny Access to Display Settings
  • Prevent Access to Drives from ‘My  Computer’

System Lock-down Settings
Choose to activate any or all of the following :

  • Disable any or all Mouse button clicks
  • Disable the Taskbar
  • Disable the Desktop
  • Disable Task Manager
  • Disable Windows Message Boxes
  • Lock-Down the Explorer Shell
  • Use Watchdog Shell Instead of Explorer
  • Automatically Restart on System Failure (blue screen)
  • Disable All Accessibility Features for Keyboards

Keyboard Blocking
Enables any or all of the following key combinations to be blocked :

  • Block CTRL-ALT-DEL - even in Windows Vista and Windows 7!
  • All separate Windows Key (WIN) combinations
  • Shift+F10 – Contextual Menu
  • APPKEY - Contextual Menu
  • F1 – Help
  • CTRL+ALT+DELETE – Restart Computer
  • CTRL+ESCAPE – Start Menu
  • CTRL+SHIFT+ESCAPE – Task Manager
  • ALT+TAB – Switch Programs
  • ALT+SHIFT+TAB – Switch Programs
  • ALT+F4 – Quit Program
  • ALT+SHIFT+ESCAPE – Switch Programs
  • ALT+ESCAPE – Switch Programs

Email Alert
Enables the configuration of SMTP email settings for recorded alerts.

Configurable Email / SMS Status Alert
Provides each engineer/administrator responsible for Digital Signage an email and/or SMS text with details of the Digital Signage and fault event.

Plugins
Add extra functionality and monitor the status of any custom devices using specific plugins e.g. barcode scanner, sensors, webcams etc.