Is Kiosk Software "Antivirus Software"?

  • Type: Article
  • Author: Laura Boniello Miller
  • Date: January 2014
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Is kiosk software also antivirus software?

According to Wikipedia, antivirus software is defined as “software used to prevent, detect and remove malware, such as: computer viruses, malicious BHOs, hijackers, ransomware, keyloggers, backdoors, rootkits, trojan horses, worms, malicious LSPs, dialers, fraud tools, adware and spyware…”

Kiosk software prevents (virus) downloads.

With this definition in mind, kiosk software functions in a similar manner to one aspect of antivirus software.  In a self service or digital signage environment, kiosk software prevents malware or computer viruses from being placed on your computer via either malicious intent or accidental action.  By definition, kiosk software, which limits downloads, access, and usage to only intended activities, prevents viruses from being downloaded, installed or run.  By securing your operating system, kiosk software serves as a preventer of malware, viruses, Trojan horses, worms and more.   Does kiosk software prevent antivirus downloads? Yes, but only insofar as it is configured to prevent downloads in general.

Antivirus software not only prevents, but repairs and detects.

More specific definitions of antivirus software can provide a bit of a distinction.  A more detailed view of Antivirus (anti-virus) software is that it not only prevents infection, but also detects and repairs your device or system.   Kiosk software stops at the “preventing” stage while specific antivirus software programs will identify and remove infections.  Kiosk software does not identify and prevent the download of viruses, but it can be configured to prevent and restrict any downloads at all.

Self Service devices need both antivirus and kiosk software

For the purposes of self -service and/or display devices, locking down your operating system to limit usage is a must, even if you have antivirus software installed.  One ill informed or ill intended user can disable your traditional antivirus software if they have access to that part of the OS.   Much like a seatbelt in a car, if your antivirus software is not activated, it may as well not be installed.  Keeping with this analogy, kiosk software works to prevent anyone from starting your car without permission.  It is a separate security tool that can be extremely valuable for safety purposes, but it doesn’t replace the seatbelts (i.e. antivirus software).

KioWare kiosk software is lockdown software for your computer or tablet.  It protects your device from unauthorized usage, inadvertent downloads, deliberate malicious misuse, and the installation of any programs by unauthorized individuals. KioWare locks down your OS, limiting access and preventing misuse.