Skip to main content

Semtech’s Corporate Blog

Don’t Let Your Network Security Expire; It’s Time for a Refresh

Internet of Things, 5G, Gateway

Greg Dunn

Greg Dunn

Senior Product Manager, Product Security and Networking

In today's hyper-connected world, ensuring the security and efficiency of your network is paramount. Yet, this is not a simple, one-and-done assignment. Security is an ever-changing landscape; constantly evolving as new threats emerge and new security patches and standards are released. 

As you navigate through this landscape, it's crucial to ensure that your edge network devices, and notably your cellular routers, are equipped with the latest firmware upgrades and security patches provided by their manufacturers. This can prove challenging when dealing with end-of-life devices that no longer receive software support. In such cases, upgrading to new-generation solutions often emerges as the best option. 



Securing your network is an ongoing journey, as threat actors are always on the prowl, hunting for bugs and vulnerabilities to exploit. Just as we're always eager to update our smartphones or laptops to the latest operating system, it’s equally, if not more, important to keep cellular routers in sync with the most recent security features and patches offered by your manufacturer.  

Many bugs are publicly known and can be exploited by attackers, so if you don’t update, you are vulnerable”. (1)   

If these patches aren't installed or if firmware updates aren't carried out to fix issues, then you're essentially leaving your network open to attacks. So, what's the solution? Proactive monitoring and management of your routers! 
Being able to timely and efficiently deploy these patches to your entire fleet of routers is essential. This requires remote device management capabilities. The AirLink® Management Service (ALMS) platform for example allows you to monitor your AirLink® routers firmware status and deploy new firmware and security patches over the air at scale. You can manage fleet-wide firmware upgrade campaigns with automatic retry capabilities and reporting of results.   

But here comes the tricky part - what happens when your routers reach their end-of-support date and can no longer receive firmware updates and security patches?



“Most, if not all, devices have a finite lifespan after which they will/can no longer receive security updates. Understanding these limitations, and retiring unsupported devices when able, can help to minimize risk”. (2)  

Routers, like all tech devices, have a lifecycle.  It's crucial for network architects to adopt a forward-thinking approach to network modernization. By proactively managing hardware lifecycles, they can keep their networks ahead of the curve—ready to harness emerging tech advancements and prepared for new threats. 
If your router is inching towards, or already in, its sunset phase, it is potentially no longer eligible for firmware upgrades and security patches from the manufacturer. Hardware that continues to function well long after its end-of-support date might leave your network exposed to new security threats when new vulnerabilities are discovered. This is especially concerning when these routers are deployed in critical infrastructure where security breaches could have far-reaching consequences. 

Imagine this scenario: You’ve been using a 4G router on your SCADA infrastructure for the past seven years. The router has proven to be dependable and efficient, leading you to believe there's no need for a replacement. However, a newly discovered vulnerability in a third-party component has been made public, leaving your router vulnerable to potential attacks. Since your router is now end-of-life and past its support period, you cannot benefit from the manufacturer security response. 

In other terms, every new vulnerability discovered after a device becomes unsupported poses a potential risk to your network. This can subsequently affect your regulatory compliance, increase your liability and potentially damage your reputation.  
So, when you receive an end-of-support notice for a device that's still in use, it should be taken as a clear sign that it's time to plan for a refresh. 


 Our discussions with customers have revealed an interesting paradox. Our Semtech AirLink routers are ultra-reliable — they last a long time, often operating effectively even beyond their support lifetime. That's great on one hand, but as discussed above, it can become a problem in the long run. undefined-Mar-01-2024-09-12-45-6968-PM

To help our customers stay ahead and safe, we are thrilled to introduce our new AirLink XR60 5-Year Complete Promotion. With this program we're inviting you to upgrade to our new generation AirLink XR60 5G router, providing 5 years of AirLink Complete*. 

This is more than just a 5G upgrade; it's a complete package designed to secure and future-proof your network.



Alongside the cutting-edge XR60 5G router, you’ll also gain access to five years of technical support, hardware warranty and remote management capabilities, allowing you to: 

  • Upgrade to a new-generation solution with an active software support period. This means you will have access to the latest firmware upgrades and security patches we release. 
  • Leverage the ALMS platform to remotely monitor and configure your router fleet for the next five years. You’ll be able to keep an eye on your router’s firmware status, set alerts for critical events like location reporting failure, and deploy the latest security patches across all your routers over the air with just a few clicks.  
  • Enjoy five years of technical support and hardware warranty to help you troubleshoot issues and address concerns as they arise. 
    Warranty information for AirLink products is available here.  
  • Last, but certainly not least, experience a significant performance boost. The AirLink XR60 5G router delivers high-performance 5G and Wi-Fi connectivity. Powered by our latest operating system, it leverages modern router features like edge computing or Semtech's patented Cognitive Wireless technology for intelligent hot failover. 

We've built this program to be as simple and accessible as possible. It is open to all – both existing and new customers. There's no need to worry about returning your current routers.  All you have to do is purchase your new-gen XR60 router through your regular reseller and register it in ALMS before December 31, 2024. Once that's done, you'll gain access to 5 years of AirLink Complete* with no annual fee and no renewal process to manage for the next 5 years! 

Are you ready to give your network the refresh it deserves?  

Learn more about the AirLink XR60 5-Year Complete Promotion 


* XR60 routers purchased and registered in AirLink Management Service (ALMS) between January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024. See program details 


1: NIST : 

2: NIST – CyberSecurity Insights Blog (2022): 



Related Blogs:

Recent Posts

Posts by Author

See all