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Staying Secure with IoT Live Patching: A Game-Changing Strategy

Rohan Timalsina

January 10, 2024 - TuxCare expert team

  • Live patching does not necessitate rebooting IoT devices, enabling patching without disruptions
  • KernelCare IoT is an affordable option for automated live patching of connected devices
  • Organizations should emphasize live patching in their cybersecurity strategy to stay ahead of threats

IoT devices are susceptible to a myriad of security threats due to their continuous connectivity and diverse functionalities. Cybercriminals use these vulnerabilities to obtain unauthorized access and conduct various attacks, such as DDoS and ransomware. Conventional patching methods, which require rebooting devices, are often impractical for IoT devices that must be up and running 24/7. Therefore, live patching has emerged as a game-changer that enables devices to stay patched without disrupting them.

This article explores the significance of IoT live patching and its role in mitigating security risks and vulnerabilities.


Growing Vulnerabilities in IoT Devices


Most of the time, hackers try to get into IoT devices by brute-forcing simple passwords or taking advantage of weaknesses in network services. They often use brute-forcing on commonly used protocols like Telnet, which is not very secure. By doing this, they try different passwords until they find the right one, giving them unauthorized access to the device. Once in, they can do malicious activities within the larger ecosystem beyond just the IoT environment – including executing arbitrary commands or installing harmful software.

Furthermore, IoT devices face vulnerabilities due to exploits in the services they use. These attacks often involve the execution of malicious commands by exploiting vulnerabilities in IoT web interfaces, resulting in significant consequences, such as the spread of malware like Mirai.


The Role of Live Patching in IoT Security


IoT devices often struggle with limited computational power, constrained memory, and the inability to apply regular security updates. Live patching is a dynamic approach to fixing vulnerabilities without requiring system downtime. Unlike conventional patching methods, live patching allows security updates and fixes to be applied while the connected devices are running.

TuxCare’s KernelCare IoT live patching solution automates the deployment of security updates in Linux-based IoT ecosystems. With KernelCare IoT, the latest vulnerability patches are applied as soon as they’re available and there is no need to schedule downtime or reboot individual devices.


Key Advantages of KernelCare IoT Live Patching


No Downtime


IoT devices that implement live patching can continue to operate during the patching process. This eliminates the patching-related downtime so that the devices can keep functioning without interruption.  


Quick Response to Emerging Threats


Cyber threats are constantly evolving and it’s imperative to act quickly to prevent potential attacks. KernelCare IoT enables the deployment of security updates immediately, ensuring that IoT devices are protected against the latest vulnerabilities. 


Enhanced Security


Live patching greatly improves the overall security posture of IoT devices by installing patches in real time. It offers an additional layer of protection against both known and unknown threats, which significantly reduces the vulnerability exposure windows.




Achieving compliance requirements can become a lot easier if you simplify the patching process. Using automated live patching solutions can help you install patches on time while also maintaining the service uptime and meeting regulatory requirements such as SOC 2, CIS controls, NIST CSF, and ISO 27001.  


Final Thoughts


Implementing live patching in security practices is paramount for protecting connected devices and maintaining a robust and secure IoT environment. IoT live patching provides a balance between the requirement of ongoing operation and the urgency of addressing vulnerabilities. To stay ahead of increasingly sophisticated threats against your IoT environment, organizations should prioritize live patching as an integral part of their cybersecurity strategy.   

Staying Secure with IoT Live Patching: A Game-Changer Strategy
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Staying Secure with IoT Live Patching: A Game-Changer Strategy
Explore the power of IoT live patching in fortifying device security. Learn how real-time updates mitigate vulnerabilities without downtime.
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