Security is something we all seek when it comes to the protection of our networks. For too many small businesses, achieving the necessary level of security in their web-scale networking is a challenge that’s difficult to overcome. The reality for businesses of all sizes is that fiber is really easy to hack, putting your organization at risk.
A recent article published by Ciena explores the potential security risks inherent in web-scale networking when fiber is in place. The article suggests that hacking into a fiber line is easier than installing an update on your iPhone. I might suggest that it’s actually easier than setting up your Android (News - Alert) device, but six of one, half a dozen of the other. The point is – it’s easy and that means it’s cake for a hacker.
For that reason, 37 percent of global companies are deploying consistent encryption strategies across the enterprise, hoping to curb the recent increase in mega breaches and cyberattacks throughout the market. As frequency and sophistication continues to intensify, organizations have to get away from the thinking that they are immune. There is an every-present threat of malicious attacks that can collect and use sensitive and private information.
But are these strategies enough? According to Ciena, many of them are incomplete, as they focus only on data that is at rest on company servers or in the cloud. It must be a critical consideration to secure and encrypt data in flight between locations. Many of these communications are carried by way of fiber optic cables responsible for carrying an enormous amount of Internet traffic throughout the world. Traditionally, intrusion through fiber has not been a priority in the corporate security strategy, which is exactly what makes it a vulnerability.
In fact, the average Joe with access to the Internet can shop online for an easy-to-get tool that enables a quick hack. YouTube (News - Alert) guides are readily available to guide through the tapping process, enabling the individual to be well-equipped to steal sensitive information from a fiber optic cable. When this happens, the provider may not even know a breach has occurred. Some loss on the optical line may be noticeable, but the provider won’t know that in-flight data is being monitored.
In this situation, a network may be compromised for long periods of time before a breach is ever detected. At that point – how do you determine what information was put at risk? The point is, you can’t. Your web-scale networking strategies have to provide for complete protection of your fiber connections or your entire operation is at risk.
Edited by Maurice Nagle