CoP 3: Keep software updated

Software components in internet-connected devices should be securely updateable. Updates shall be timely and should not impact on the functioning of the device. An end-of-life policy shall be published for end-point devices which explicitly states the minimum length of time for which a device will receive software updates and the reasons for the length of the support period. The need for each update should be made clear to consumers and an update should be easy to implement. For constrained devices that cannot physically be updated, the product should be isolatable and replaceable.

The provenance of security patches should also be assured and they should be delivered over a secure channel. The basic functions of a device should continue to operate during an update wherever possible, for example a watch should continue to tell the time, a home thermostat should still operate and a lock should continue to unlock and lock. This may seem primarily a design consideration, but can become a critical safety issue for some types of devices and systems if not considered or managed correctly.

Software updates should be provided after the sale of a device and pushed to devices for a period appropriate to the device. This period of software update support shall be made clear to a consumer when purchasing the product. The retailer and/or manufacturers should inform the consumer that an update is required. For constrained devices with no possibility of a software update, the conditions for and period of replacement support should be clear.

Primarily applies to: Device Manufacturers, IoT Service Providers and Mobile Application Developers

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