Why CISOs Should Care About Fiber

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Even the Cloud Lives Somewhere

Cloud-service adoption continues to grow as organizations of all sizes seek to reduce capital expenditures and business overhead, but what many people don't understand is that the cloud actually lives beneath us. Fiber optic cables carry data faster and cheaper than most other technologies, criss-crossing the Earth on land and undersea. However, fewer than 300 cable systems transport almost all traffic around the world. Since each cable can carry an extraordinary amount of information, it's not uncommon for an entire country to rely on only a handful of systems. If the right cables were disrupted at the right time, it could interfere with global Internet traffic for weeks or even months.

There have been 16 known attacks on fiber optic cables in the last year, where attackers crept through manholes to sever the cables that supply communications services to the San Francisco area. In fact, the New York Times referred to this as the "cyber threat under the street." Awareness of the threats to "invisible" cables that carry our Internet communications has gone so mainstream that even Stephen Colbert has talked about fiber cuts!

While most of the emphasis on protecting networks today is focused on protecting data within the enterprise or data center, the physical infrastructures of both public and private Internet networks are vulnerable to calculated attacks. An attacker could access in-ground fiber cables and siphon off entire data streams without it being detected for days, weeks or even months. What do security professionals need to know about these attacks and the weaknesses in their physical infrastructure? Ciena has helped enterprise and government customers worldwide deploy optical-level encryption to protect against these threats. Paulina Gomez, specialist, Product and Technology Marketing, Ciena, explains what security professionals need to know about the physical risks to networks, and how they can protect all data in-transit 24/7.

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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