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Innovation in Fiber Security

ALLIED TELESIS today announced that it has 
released an innovative security measure to prevent eavesdropping on fiber communications, Active Fiber Monitoring. The patent-pending technology can 
detect when a cable is being tampered with, and 
will raise an alarm to warn of a possible securit breach. 

Fiber-optic links are used extensively for long-range data communications and are also a popular 
choice within the LAN environment. One of the 
perceived advantages of fiber is that eavesdroppin-g on traffic within the cable is not possible. However, it is now possible to acquire devices that 
can snoop traffic on fiber cables; and even more
disturbing is that these devices are readily available and very easy to use. 

In response to this threat, Allied Telesis has developed Active Fiber Monitoring, a technology that detects small changes in the amount of light recei-ved on a fiber link. When an intrusion is attempted, the light level changes because some of the light is redirected by the eavesdropper onto another fiber. As soon as this happens, active fiber
monitoring detects the intrusion and raises the 
alarm. The link can either be shut down automatica-lly, or an operator can be alerted and manually 

"The security of data on fiber links used to be 
taken for granted,"said MR GRAHAM WALKER, SENIOR PRODUCT MANAGER at ALLIED TELESIS. " But companies need to be made aware that it's now very easy to 
snoop traffic on fiber undetected. Until now, the only countermeasures have been encryption, which 
is expensive and introduces latency, or sensitive
light meters, which are complex to set up and can give false positives.Active Fiber Monitoring is an effective alternative that is easy to use
and completely free." 

Active Fiber Monitoring is built-in to all Allied Telesis "x" Series switches and firewalls running the latest AlliedWare Plus(tm) Operating
System firmware. It requires the use of DDM-capabl-e optical modules,which are readily available 
from Allied Telesis.
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