Why CISOs Should Care About Fiber

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Current Encryption Practices Focus Heavily on Data-At-Rest

Two years ago, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt made the proclamation that "the solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything," shining a spotlight on what some had called an "old" technology. Since then, encryption has gained a more prominent place in the national conversation around privacy, and its use has increased. Encryption inside the data center or enterprise campus is an established best practice for many businesses today. But what about when you need to get that data from one side of the network to another, such as from a data center storage array to your smartphone? Adding optical encryption capabilities helps to ensure in-flight data is more secure whether it's traveling across the street, across the city, across country borders or across the ocean.

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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