Fiber Optic Cabling

How To Protect Your Fiber Optic Cabling

by Charles Jean
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The 21st century has brought with it the need to carry massive amounts of data to and from the Internet to users across different zones of the world. When the usage of fiber optic cables such as MPO cable and MTP cable first began, none of the companies that ventured into the technology paid any mind to the possibility of having their cables hacked. It simply didn’t feature on any company’s security and recovery strategy.

However, recent events have shed light on just how real fiber cable hacking has become. Considering that fiber optic cables consist of glass that is optically pure, the bundle arrangement is utilized in transmitting light photons that carry digital information from one location to another. By nature, fiber optic cables are expensive to install and maintain, and thus require to be handled with care as well as kept in good condition. The cables themselves are capable of lasting a long tie, but mishandling them damages the cables and destroys their capacity to perform well. Let’s focus on how to protect your fiber optic cabling.

Why fiber needs protection

It is well known in I.T. that copper cabling is far more vulnerable to data interception and theft. However, fiber cables can also get easily accessed without authorization by utilizing black market tapping software. To make matters worse, any Tom, Dick, or Harry with a remote interest in electronics and fiber cables can learn how to tap into private fiber cables by watching YouTube videos. In this way, private and confidential data can be quickly siphoned right off the cable.

Protecting your fiber cabling from damage

  • Do not pull on the cable or apply a twisting pressure when removing the connector. This action may break the optical fiber inside it or damage the cable sheath.
  • Keep connectors assembled and ready. Connectors that are not assembled may lead to a breakage and dwindling performance.
  • Do not bang the end of the connector against hard surfaces. Hitting the end of the optical connector against hard surfaces damages the connector as well as destroying the connections.
  • Take great care when pinching, bending, or folding fiber cabling. Any excesses in these motions break the fiber-optic layer.
  • Do not use fiber cables to support anything.
  • It is not advisable to touch the end of a broken or damaged fiber optic cable.

Protecting your cable from attacks

  • In large commercial buildings, always ensure that you run your fiber cabling through safe zones as much of the time as possible. Conduits are specially designed to prevent damage to fiber optic cables.
  • Realize that there is no 100% foolproof method or guarantee that your cable will not get hacked. You should also be aware of the threats from within your organization that may be interested in unauthorized access to fiber cabling. In this instance, it is best to have a multi-layered protection technique for your organization.
  • The installers and network engineers at the data center should be meticulous where they terminate cables. Terminations in public areas like wiring closets make it easy for villains to tap into the network.

Conclusion

Fiber optic cables are fast, safe, efficient, and very enjoyable to use; however, it is upon the engineers on-site to keep the cabling safe from hackers and damage. One should know the possible threats before laying fiber cabling for a company.

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