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Monitoring and managing vulnerabilities for embedded systems built with Yocto

Monitoring and managing vulnerabilities for embedded systems built with Yocto

The Yocto Project is well known for enabling product developers to quickly and easily customize Linux for Internet of Things (IoT) devices and other embedded systems. But today’s environment is marked by heightened security concerns, skyrocketing vulnerability reports, and high-profile security breaches.

Getting your embedded system product to market fast is important. But getting to market fast without a secure design and a plan for managing future vulnerabilities is a huge mistake. If you design, build and support products with embedded Linux using Yocto, it’s important to evaluate security of your system from the point of view of the end customer who will deploy it.

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Managing vulnerabilities: Understanding patch notifications and fixing CVEs

Managing vulnerabilities: Understanding patch notifications and fixing CVEs

After Notification: The Next Steps

In a previous blog, we covered how Timesys handles security monitoring and notification of open source software vulnerabilities, how to generate reports on demand for the current state of a Yocto or Factory build on the desktop, and how to view, generate, and subscribe for reports on the web. If you missed it, now would be a good time to catch up before reading this post, because the next steps cover what to do with the information contained in those reports. Specifically, you may have the following questions:

  • What should I fix?
  • Where do I find the fixes?
  • How do I apply fixes to my build?

We’ll start by explaining the meaning of the subcategories of “Unfixed” CVEs and the “Vector” column in the reports, and then break down each of the above questions. Along the way, you’ll see how the solutions offered by Timesys can save you countless hours spent searching for patches, applying them to your build, and dealing with conflicts that arise when upgrading.

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Managing vulnerabilities: The importance of security notification and how to leverage Timesys’ solution

Managing vulnerabilities: The importance of security notification and how to leverage Timesys’ solution

Security Is Important

No matter what industry you’re in, maintaining the security of your software is vital. It may be obvious that medical devices need to protect patients and their privacy, but a range of consumer gadgets fueling the IoT have also been targeted and used to cause real damage.

When security is an afterthought and products are near release, and especially when they are already in the field, addressing vulnerability issues becomes a lot riskier and much more costly. This is one reason that we advocate for designing with security in mind from the beginning. Since most open source vulnerabilities are fixed by upgrading to a new version or applying a patch, it’s important to make scanning for Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) and applying their fixes a regular part of the development process.

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