At the Rural Wireless Infrastructure Summit today, FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington spoke to attendees, highlighting key cybersecurity and national security issues that need to be addressed. Specifically, Commissioner Simington noted the serious threats that devices and applications, with known security vulnerabilities, pose to communications networks.
As a solution, Commissioner Simington proposed that regulations should be put in place to require that manufacturers remediate security vulnerabilities, via software updates, when they become aware of such security vulnerabilities. While Simington stated that “[w]e cannot regulate ourselves to success,” he noted that the FCC has the authority under the Communications Act to implement such regulations. Commissioner Simington also remarked that the FCC should look to scrutinize authorized equipment, even after grant of equipment authorization noting that security threats change over time.