In a March 25 letter, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., urged six Internet networking device vendors to ensure their internet connectivity products “remain secure as Americans across the nation ramp up their use of these devices for remote work, health, and education purposes as part of COVID-19 social distancing efforts.”

In his letter to Google, Netgear, Belkin, Eero, Asus, and Commscope, Sen. Warner urged the companies to strengthen the security of their wireless access points, routers, modems, mesh network systems, and other connectivity products to ensure that consumer systems and workplace networks aren’t vulnerable to attacks.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, Americans will depend on connectivity products to receive telehealth; remain connected with family, colleagues, employers, and friends; and to receive news reports, and guidance from government and public health officials,” wrote Sen. Warner. “During this time, the security of consumer devices and networks will be of heightened importance.”

He specifically asked the companies to provide timely security updates to mitigate known cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Warner also said that “given the increased reliance on home networks for telehealth, distancing learning, and telework, I also ask you to consider public outreach to alert your customers to steps they can take to better secure these products, including applying security updates.” He further requested that vendors notify consumers who are using devices that aren’t able to receive security updates, leaving the devices more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.