Update Failures – Another brick in the wall

Posted by: Thom Denholm

In another demonstration of an update failure (something that seems to happen monthly), the company LockState pushed out a firmware update for the wrong model earlier this month. LockState manufactures door locking systems that can be remotely managed, and many of the affected devices were installed in AirBnB locations, in partnership with Host Assist. The incorrect firmware disabled the ability to remotely unlock the device, leaving many AirBnB guests unable to access their rentals. Most of the roughly 500 affected devices have been repaired at this point.

This sort of failure is either one of distribution or testing. An individual update failure (from a power interruption, for example) would be just as disastrous, but is unlikely to generate the sort of headlines and twitter storm this occurrence did. The most prudent thing a Development and QA teams can do before an update is to run it through rigorous testing to catch any possible point of corruption.

To this end, testing and completely reliable updates go hand in hand to protect the Internet of Things. If your company has any sort of over-the-air update strategy, or is planning to create one, please take the time to make sure both of these bases are covered for every update. For more about a completely reliable file system that handles these updates, please see our Reliance Nitro and Reliance Edge products, and download the presentation Datalight gave on this topic at ESC Minneapolis.

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