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Why You Can No Longer Ignore Fiber Connectivity for Data Security

Posted by Dee McVicker on 10/9/14 8:35 AM

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shutterstock_99753071Data security issues keep turning up like a bad penny.  

Last month, it was Home Depot. Before that, it was Target, where a hacker absconded with data belonging to 70 million individuals. Apple, the U.S. Federal Reserve, The Wall Street Journal, and even the ironclad U.S. National Security Agency have all been hacked into.

Somewhere in every network lurks a security risk. That’s why you’ve been so diligent about ferreting out the risks with encryption, firewalls, authentication and restricted access, right?

That’s all good, but if you continue to ignore fiber connectivity, you might be in for a shock.

Or, worse.

All the firewall technology in the world isn’t going to help you if someone hacks into the “last mile” of your  data and communications network – that is, the copper network cabling the runs data, voice, audio and video around your office and between departments.

Copper is a great conductor, but it also puts out electro-magnetic radiation, which is the network equivalent of leaky plumbing. Everything you send across it can be decoded by eavesdroppers, putting at risk your company data, your company secrets, and far worse. New laws holding companies accountable for safeguarding customer information make unstable copper cabling too risky going forward. Breaches in private information come with civil penalties up to $20 million per violation. If you’re a medical institution, the penalties could be much worse. Violation of HIPAA privacy rules could impose criminal penalties and millions more in fines.  

The simple truth is that data is much safer running over fiber optic cable than copper cable. Fiber is virtually noise-proof and tamperproof, especially when encryption is added to transmitted content. This is because optical cable is made up of glass fiber. Optical beams of light carry data quickly and securely. There are no issues with EMR, grounding, shorting or crosstalk of cables, and no humming or leaking whatsoever. In fact, fiber optic cabling made in the U.S. is the Fort Knox of data security.

Companies and government agencies have discovered it’s far more difficult to hack into optical fiber cable than copper, which picks up noise easily from phones, computers, and electrical conduits and systems everywhere.

In addition to excellent security properties, optical fiber cable is more resilient, can transmit information error-free over greater distances, and has a much larger capacity for data than copper cabling.


Topics: Cyber Security, Copper Cable