Recent headlines about a series of attacks on fiber optic cables in California quoted security experts warning that “the Internet’s physical infrastructure is basically unsecured and vulnerable to both casual and determined attackers.” This is a fact that Network Integrity Systems, the leader in network infrastructure security, as well as our partners, know well and are committed to changing. However, until these most recent attacks made headlines, this fact had not been widely known by the public or by private enterprises. In a time when threats to our data security and network availability are growing daily, it is imperative that this vulnerability be recognized. In this vain, upon news of the attacks in California, NIS Sales Manager, Ralph Descheneux reached out to USA Today to make the point that organizations are spending heavily on cyber security plans which incorporate technologies such as encryption, virus protection and firewalls, if the physical infrastructure (fiber optic and copper cabling carrying the data) isn’t protected, the network is completely vulnerable to unpredictable and detrimental events.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has known about this “open door”, and for many years, based upon oversight by the National Security Agency, has had a standard in place for securing the first layer of the OSI Model, specifically Layer 1, the physical layer. In response, Network Integrity Systems developed the INTERCEPTOR™ Optical Network Security System which has been deployed across the globe to protect U.S. government classified networks up to the highest levels of classification.
In response to an emerging need within private enterprise for network physical asset protection (Layer-1 protection), and also because the INTERCEPTOR is restricted outside of the U.S. government and military, NIS introduced the VANGUARD™ Optical Network Monitoring System to address this need. These optical monitoring products ensure the integrity and availability of network data by performing 24/7/365 continuous monitoring of critical network infrastructure and detect and report any changes or behavior that would indicate tampering with the cable system as a precursor to placing a tap on the fiber to engage in information theft (hand held coupling devices are commercially available and can easily be employed to tap a fiber with virtually no interference to the optical signal) or damage that could degrade network performance or availability (such as severing the cable to cause widespread disruption). Essentially, these products identify potentially harmful events before they are carried out, thereby drastically reducing the cost and risk to an organization.
To read the USA Today article, click here.