Unless you’ve been holidaying on a remote island or had your head in the sand over the past week you’ve almost definitely heard about the latest WiFi Security flaw to rock the globe, KRACK. This ‘man in the middle’ style vulnerability impact’s nearly all WiFi IOT devices and access points running the WPA2 Security protocol. While much has been publicised and discussed regarding the patching of the bigger and more popular OS such as Windows, iOS and Android. Not a lot has been mentioned about those ageing yet still somewhat relevant Windows Embedded, CE and Windows Mobile Platforms.
Heavily utilised in the industrial mobility space since around the turn of the century, these were the OS of choice for companies such as Motorola, Zebra, Honeywell and Intermec. With devices from these companies built to endure some of the toughest treatment man and machine can dish out, their lifespan often exceeded 10 years or more. This means that despite a clear shift towards Android as the industrial OS of choice, there are a ton of Windows Embedded and Windows CE devices still deployed today.
Just because they’ve not been talked about in the press of late doesn’t mean they are exempt from a potential KRACK attack. In fact, in many warehouse scenarios, there are more Windows rugged devices on the WiFi network than there are traditional devices, by leaving the issue unattended businesses exposing themselves to all sorts of issues. The biggest reason that these devices might be forgotten about in a situation such as this, is the fact that they won’t update themselves. Unlike the bigger OS’s, the Windows Mobile platforms require manual updating.
If you’re clever then you or your MSP are using an MDM such as Ivanti Avalanche or SOTI Mobicontrol, therefore making the process as easy as pushing out the KRACK patches over the air. If you aren’t, then there is a very real chance that you’ll be patching those rugged devices one by one via a cradle and USB cable.
With Windows CE and WEHH patches from Zebra, Honeywell and other manufacturers scheduled for various dates in November it would be a good idea to start planning. While the thought of having to manually update a large number of these devices might make your head spin, consider the very real consequences of leaving your business exposed.
If protecting your fleet from KRACK is something you don’t have time for or if you simply don’t know where to begin then Rugged IT offer an update service that will secure your company WiFi as well as all your rugged Windows Embedded WiFi devices. Contact Rugged IT for more information.