Ciena Extends Encryption Capabilities Across Optical WANs

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While public policy surrounding encryption is still a topic of hot debate, the fact that more organizations want to be able to easily invoke it is not. To make that possible across data in motion on a wide area network, Ciena today added a WaveLogic Encryption capability to its optical networking gear that is now capable of being applied on both 100 and 200G WANs.

While Ciena could previously encrypt data in motion across a 10G network, Helen Xenos, director of product and technology marketing for Ciena, says faster ASIC processors mean Ciena can now provide that capability using optical networking equipment typically deployed by carriers. Those carriers in turn can then make the keys available to encrypt that traffic to their enterprise customers, says Xenos.

Xenos says the Ciena encryption technology is designed to automatically encrypt data the second it comes on to a Ciena network and then decrypt it once it exits that network. For carriers, Xenos says that means no process needs to be inserted in order to provide encrypted network services to their customers.

As a result, Xenos says it’s now possible for carriers to provide encryption services that introduce only a minimal amount of latency across an optical transport, while at the same time eliminating all the manual processes typically associated with providing an encrypted service.

Of course, carriers and their customers may still be subject to various encryption backdoor regulations that governments want to put in place. But regardless of the outcome of that debate, the fact remains that the simpler it becomes to encrypt data in motion and at rest, the more likely it is that organizations are going to use it to secure data that is now routinely targeted by everyone from petty criminals to nation states.