An IoT (sometimes referred to as embedded) operating system is an OS designed for the particular demands and specifications of IoT devices and applications. It is critical for connectivity, security, networking, storage, remote device management, and other IoT system needs.
Like other operating systems, IoT Operating Systems suffer from the lack of automated updates making previous software versions risky if an exploit was found but the device was not manually updated. IoT Operating Systems are not central managed – meaning usually only a specific admin or user will be the one upgrading the device version – which may be long overdue by then.
With this being said, IoT Operating Systems allow users to gain full control on all device aspects and features.
IoT Operating Systems are becoming an increasingly popular tool, but with the rise in numbers and the device need of a manual update, a potential vulnerability can pose a big security issue as one well-aimed attack can cause a breach in the mentioned device.
Some notable examples of IoT Operating Systems:
DD-WRT – a Linux based alternative OpenSource firmware suitable for a variety of WLAN routers and embedded systems. The main emphasis lies on providing the easiest possible handling while at the same time supporting a great number of functionalities within the framework of the respective hardware platform used.
OpenWrt – a Linux operating system targeting embedded devices. OpenWrt provides a fully writable filesystem with package management. For developers, OpenWrt is the framework to build an application without having to build a complete firmware around it; for users this means the ability for full customization, to use the device in ways never envisioned.
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