What is Fiber-Optic Internet Security?
Fiber internet is internet access that is delivered over fiber-optic connections, as opposed to the copper wire that broadband connections use, or the wireless signals used by satellite connections. Fiber Internet lines are comprised of hundreds or thousands of glass or plastic cables that are roughly 1/10 the size of a human hair. Fiber internet signals are sent over these fine cables as pulses of light, which travel at extraordinarily high speeds, with fiber-optic cable commercial offerings topping out around 100 Gbps, which is 200 times the speed of a 50 Mbps broadband connection.1
Fiber-optic communication offers higher security than other internet connections for a number of reasons:
Easy damage detection. Unlike copper wire, broken or damaged fiber can be detected very quickly. This makes it easier to diagnose and resolve application issues before performance is impacted dramatically.
Secure endpoints. Fiber-optic networks are less susceptible to hacking because of technological differences in fiber-optic infrastructure. Fiber uses all-dielectric self-supporting cables, a type of optical fiber cable strong enough to support itself between structures. This secures the endpoints in the network, which are common entry points that cyberattacks target.
Harder to intercept. Since fiber-optic communication is made possible by rapidly sending data as pulses of light across very thin strands of glass or plastic fiber, it is much more difficult for cyberattackers to intercept its data signals.
More resilient. Fiber-optic cable does not short out like copper wire does, which can result in a fire. These advantages make fiber the safer choice in fiber-optic solutions and applications. Examples of applications that can benefit from the security offered by fiber-optic internet2:
- Jam/hack-proof communications. Fiber-optic internet harness bundles support jam/hack-proof communications by making the signal easier to commandeer.
- Intrusion detection. Fiber-optic internet does not require outdoor power or electronics, making it an ideal choice for intrusion detection applications. When fiber-optic internet is used in place of copper wire or conductive materials, these applications are immune to EMI disruption. Additionally, fiber-optics are safe in explosive atmospheres.
- Cybersecurity. Fiber-optic cables are harder to tap into than copper cables, and they are immune to EMI disruption. Hacking attempts in fiber-optics are much more likely to be noticed, resulting in quicker response times.
- Pipeline security. Fiber-optic solutions are used to detect pipeline leaks and ground disturbances from manual and machine excavation, and they can also monitor the temperature of the pipeline.
- Video surveillance. Fiber-optics provide increased signal distance in video surveillance applications, and they allow for data multiplexing (i.e., sending multiple surveillance feeds through the same cable). Copper is susceptible to grounding and lightning strikes, but fiber-optics are immune to EMI/RFI suppression.
1 Spectrum Enterprise, 2023, “Why is fiber-optic communication technology more secure?”
2 Timbercon, 2022, “Fiber Optics: A More Secure Solution”