October 13, 2020

Devices for the frontline – how to protect staff and customers

Marayka Chen
HP Device Specialist at Data#3
The extraordinary disruption brought on by COVID-19 has tested Australian businesses like never before – forcing them to make hard decisions in a constantly changing landscape. The challenges continue as many continue to seek to find their feet.

For frontline businesses, including retail, hospitality, events, childcare, and even religious organisations, this means adhering to new guidelines around social distancing, sanitisation and contact tracing. They must also be prepared to continuously reassess, revise and enhance their plans as new guidelines are introduced.

In a recent survey, 78% of respondents were considering, or already implementing, technology as a direct result of COVID-191. At Data#3, we’ve seen many of our existing customers rise to meet the challenge – investing in devices that both maximise productivity and security, and are easy to use. Yet we also know how daunting these decisions can be for businesses when technology hasn’t played a huge role in their daily operations.

In this blog, we explore the current challenges facing the frontline and how the right device can ensure to meet strict guidelines while maintaining business continuity.

The challenges of safe and secure contact tracing

To remain operational and limit outbreaks, frontline businesses need to be ready to provide accurate customer information to health officials- quickly. This means collecting and storing personal customer details which for many, is unchartered territory. By exposing a lack of knowledge around data compliance and inadequate or outdated security processes, both customers and staff are put at risk with hefty fines and data breaches a very real possibility.

Let’s take a look at a typical hospitality setting, where a café may provide a notebook and pen for customers to write down their details. Not only does this not comply with government guidelines, an open book where other customers can see hundreds of people’s names and numbers is not a secure way to collect or store data. It’s not efficient either (and handwriting may be illegible!), as manually reviewing and contacting customers takes considerable time and effort.

Alternatively, the café may have a device on arrival for customers to enter their details. The problem here is that without consistent cleaning, the device itself may become a point of infection. And without inbuilt security, there’s also the risk of data not being safely stored. For hospitality professionals who are more accustomed to providing great drinking and dining experiences than understanding the ins and outs of data security, implementing these new procedures without sufficient training can leave customers and other staff at risk.

A number of applications have been developed to help organisations efficiently collect customer data, often using touchless contact. While this may eliminate the possibility of spreading germs, the question of data security lingers – are these applications secure? What about the devices themselves?

Keeping customer data secure

Businesses need to invest in devices with all the security they need built-in, providing protection from the point of collection to storage.

HP delivers just this with advanced security features embedded into every device, at no extra cost – meaning that no matter your technical knowledge, you can ensure that personal customer data is protected. HP’s standout features include:

  • Visual hacking protection | Sure View – ensures that only the person standing directly in front of the device can see the screen, with the screen appearing dark to those on the perimeter.
  • Superior password security | HP Client Security Manager – increases access security by requiring two factor authentication.
  • Malware and AI-based threat protection | HP Sure Start & HP Sure Sense – automatically detects, stops, and recovers from a BIOS attack or corruption, or never-before-seen attacks, with minimal interruption to user productivity.
  • Protects devices from phishing links | HP Sure Click – added protection for users who accidentally click on bad links or phishing emails.
  • Printing security | HP Access Control – 59% of organisations reported a print-related data loss incident in 20182. To avoid this, HP Access Control enforces user authentication to close security gaps in vulnerable public locations.

Built with hygiene in mind

With a recent study showing a device has 30 times more units of bacteria than a toilet seat3, it’s scary to think how much accumulates on devices in public spaces! That’s why it’s essential that public, frontline devices – whether it’s in a public library or collecting customer data at a café – are able to withstand constant cleaning without compromising function.

All HP Business devices are certified to handle CDC-recommended disinfectant cleaning (an alcohol solution consisting of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water), meaning devices can be cleaned between every use without damaging the screen. These devices can be wiped up to 1,000 times with household wipes.

HP’s Healthcare range takes device hygiene to the next level! Withstanding up to 10,000 cleans with germicidal wipes, it’s not surprising that these devices have been gaining significant interest from other frontline industries. One of our customers – a prominent, high traffic State library – is currently enlisting the HP Healthcare keyboard and mouse for devices in public spaces, specifically because they can be wiped down regularly without deteriorating.

Designed for the frontline

Beyond data security and hygiene, frontline businesses also require sleek, portable, high-performing devices that are built to last. For this reason, and quite a few more, the HP Engage Go – a traditional and mobile point of sales system – has been steadily attracting interest. Features include:

  • Ultra-sleek and portable – collect customer details by either popping it in the dock at a fixed location or carry it around with the optional retail hand or shoulder strap.
  • Durable and fast – a robust form factor, high-speed processor and long-lasting battery.
  • HP-grade security – keeps your systems and customer information safe with multi-layered security at the operating system and beyond.
  • Healthcare grade cleaning – forming part of the HP Healthcare range, it’s designed to withstand extensive sanitation.

On the topic of portability, the HP Chromebox G2, is quick and easy to configure as a virtual desktop or kiosk. It’s also low maintenance in terms of security and manageability, meaning you have all the protection you need.

While HP devices alone won’t be enough to stop the virus, they can make a critical difference when it comes to adhering to guidelines and preventing infections in high traffic, customer-facing environments. You can check out more of the HP device fleet here.

Ready to discover the power of the HP fleet?

With advanced security features built-in, a sleek and portable form, and the ability to constantly clean, HP’s impressive line-up is purpose-built to keep the frontline safe and secure.

Contact a Data#3 HP device specialist today to learn more about the right device for your business.

1McKinsey (2020), COVID-19: Implications for business, [ONLINE]. Available here.
2Quocirca (Jan 2019), Global Print Security Study, [ONLINE]. Available here.
3Advocate Auoroa Health (2014), How dirty are your gadgets? [ONLINE]. Available here.