With global tensions obviously at an extremely high level, we thought that we would reprint an FCC warning that we noted in one of our weekly updates of FCC actions just a month ago – alerting companies in all sectors of the communications industry of the possible threat of Russian cyber-hacking and urging that all companies take steps to secure their networks and systems.  In January, the FCC issued a Public Notice urging all communications companies to take steps to ensure the security of their facilities and operating systems. The Notice points to an advisory, Understanding and Mitigating Russian State-Sponsored Cyber Threats to U.S. Critical Infrastructure, authored by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and National Security Agency (NSA), setting out threats and steps to take to mitigate risks.  As numerous broadcast companies, large and small, have suffered from cyberattacks in recent years, broadcast companies should carefully review this notice.

In addition, CNN last week reported that the FCC would be investigating Russian influence in media companies.  This seemingly is in addition to actions already taken by the FCC (which have been adopted but are not yet effective as we have mentioned in numerous weekly updates) to require enhanced sponsorship identifications of all programming provided or sponsored by foreign governments, and to investigate all program buyers to ensure that they are not agents of foreign governments.  The FCC is also taking actions to review the security of all US communications networks, issuing a draft Notice of Inquiry to look at cybersecurity issues.  In today’s geopolitical climate, no industry is immune to threats – so take immediate steps so that your company does all that it can to avoid breaches of its networks which can cause all sorts of issues including the total disruption of its operations.  Watch for more on these issues in coming months.