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Fiber Optic Cables

Fiber Optic Cables Are Not Easy to Tap: Why This (and Other Reasons) Make Fiber Great for Network Security

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For businesses, very few things cause the general public to lose confidence in a brand than large-scale network breaches. Unfortunately, many criminals benefit from the misfortune of businesses' productivity and security. Despite this, the harsh reality is that individual consumers working with a business or purchasing goods produced by them are less likely to hold a favorable opinion or choose not to partner with them if their public image is tarnished from negative publicity. 

Network security, as a result, is a booming subfield of the information technology industry. It is not an exaggeration to say that data is the lifeblood of a company, after all. Hence, taking proper measures to protect it from would-be criminals is vital for growth and industrial security. One of the best ways to protect your business from such attacks is to invest in a fiber optic-based network infrastructure, such as GPON. Fiber optic cables and the systems that entail them have a variety of security measures built-in to protect them from malicious outside forces. The overall price of having fiber optics costs less than traditional networks, as well. This post will briefly go over the makeup of fiber optic cables and the security measures part of the larger picture.

What Makes Up The Materials of a Fiber Optics Cable?

Fiber optic cables are made up of multiple materials and are more complicated than traditional copper wire cabling. This helps make them a bit more challenging to tap as a result. 

Inside the core of all fiber optic cables is a thin strand of glass that allows for data to transmit quicker and over longer distances than copper wire cabling. 

Around the glass strand, there are a few other materials that hold it together. Surrounding the core is a layer of cladding, which reflects light back into it and helps the core transmit data quicker and over longer distances. 

Beyond the cladding is a synthetic material known as Kelvar. Since Kelvar is a tensile material that can be bent and stretched, the cables can resist damage when moved. 

Finally, the Kevlar is wrapped with a jacket (also known as the cable's sheathing) to help prevent outside elements from damaging the cabling. 

Beyond the fiber optic cables themselves, there are also materials used to connect the cabling. Immediately connected to the fiber optic cable is a plastic (or rubber) piece called the boot. The boot's primary purpose is to support the cable and the connector to prevent breaks and strain on the cabling. As its name implies, the connector is the end of the cable plugged into network equipment. The tip of the connector, known as the ferrule, is used for precision alignment when plugged into networking gear.


Can Fiber Be Tapped?

The honest answer: yes. However, a fiber optic cable is more difficult and less accessible to tap than copper wire cables.

Wiretapping, as a concept, has existed mainly since the 19th century. Most people familiar with tapping a connection only have familiarity with copper wiretapping, primarily because of the popularity of tapping phone lines. The result is that there are lower odds of a fiber system being tapped than a copper wire system, just from the lack of user knowledge alone.


Fiber Optic Cables for Strong Network Security


Beyond simple numbers, though, more technical matters make fiber optic cable tapping more complicated than with copper wires. 

There are solutions to help prevent fiber optic cables from being tapped. One such solution is a bend-insensitive cable (BI cable). A BI cable's primary purpose is to redirect light (I.e., the data being transmitted) back to the core of the fiber optic cable. 

Beyond this, some networking equipment offers built-in encrypted optical transport networking (OTN). The built-in encryption will allow your data to be sent out as unusable data that would otherwise be decrypted once fully transmitted. Tappers using equipment to tap a fiber optic signal before it can fully communicate will not be able to obtain any helpful information, safeguarding your data as a result.


Security Methods You Can Take to Ensure Network Security

As previously stated, investing in networking equipment that provides built-in encryption is a wise investment and, overall, the best protection against fiber-optic tapping. In the chance of having your cables tapped, the resulting data transmitted to the tapper will be useless.

Beyond just utilizing encryption, however, working with an IT company like House of I.T can help bolster your network security. While many companies manage their network maintenance and security themselves, most would benefit from delegating this task to a dedicated group of IT professionals.

House of I.T can not only optimize your network and provide the total value of what your network is capable of but can also assist in installing a fiber-optic network.

Put simply: if you work with us, we will be able to assist you in maximizing your network’s uptime, allow you and your employees to focus your time and talents on what you’re best at, assisting you in meeting security compliance regulations, pushing out updates for your network, installing and maintaining network equipment, and more.

All of this may be a bit overwhelming, or at least a lot to take into consideration. Don’t worry; we at House of I.T understand entirely. If you have any questions or would like to speak with an expert regarding fiber optic cost, fiber optic design, fiber network services, fiber optic installation, or any of the information presented in this post, please feel free to reach out to us.