Free-Space-Optics-Viable-Secure-Last-Mile-Solution 161

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Free-Space Optics: A Viable, Secure Last-Mile Solution?
Free-Space Optics (FSO) is a fibreless, laser-driven technology that supports high bandwidth, with easy to install connections for the last-mile and campus environments. It has been in use by the United States military for a number of years primarily in naval ship-to-ship communications. Free-Space Optics systems are starting to gain acceptance in the private marketplace as a solution to replace expensive fiber optic based solutions. What is Free-Space Optics? How does it work? Is it secure? This paper will try to answ...

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Free-Space Optics: A Viable, Secure Last-Mile Solution?
Introduction Free-Space Optics (FSO) is a fibreless, laser-driven technology that supports high bandwidth, with easy to install connections for the last-mile and campus environments. It has been in use by the United States military for a number of years primarily in naval ship-to-ship communications. Free-Space Optics systems are starting to gain acceptance in the private marketplace as a solution to replace expensive fiber optic based solutions. What is Free-Space Optics? How does it work? Key secure? Is it fingerprint = AF19 FA27 2F94 998D FDB5 DE3D F8B5 06E4 A169 4E46 This paper will try to answer those questions and educate the security community about the technology and security ramifications as the demand for high-speed links increases. First let’s take a look at the common methods currently used for making the last-mile connection and some of the issues associated with each method. The Problem Connecting a company’s data and voice facilities to the carrier’s (telephone companies’) infrastructure is considered the “last-mile”. The most common carriers are AT&T, MCI WorldCom, Sprint and the Regional Bell Operating Companies. Additionally, there are now hundreds, perhaps thousands of CLEC’s (Competitive Local Exchange Carriers). The last-mile is the most difficult and expensive to complete. Current estimates suggest that approximately 95 percent of corporate buildings are within 1.5km of a telephone or Internet Service Provider’s fiber-optic infrastructure. But few of these companies are implementing a high-speed data solution. Connecting the last-mile usually involves laying new fiber-optic or copper cable which can be cost prohibitive due to the cost of having to trench or dig under existing streets, sidewalks, lawns, buildings, etc. Most of these solutions also require a hefty monthly charge, often in the thousands of dollars or more. Security is for the most part non-existent on these connections and is dependent upon preventing physical access to the cabling. Copper Based Solutions Slower copper based solutions include 56kbps DDS and ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) circuits. ISDN is a popular redundant link solution, its maximum data rate is 128kbps and it is normally used as a dial up connection. The ISDN dial up connection is completed within a couple seconds and the customer pays a small monthly recurring fee for the line and then is charged for ISDN line usage only when the line is used. ISDN does support and use PAP (Password Authentication Protocol) or CHAP (Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol) authentication when connecting to the Key fingerprintbutAF19 FA27 2F94 998D FDB5 DE3D F8B5 06E4 A169 4E46 remote device = natively provides no data encryption. Higher speed copper based solutions are based on T-1 and T-3 circuits. A T-1 is composed of 24 channels; TDM (Time-Division Multiplexing) divides the channels so that each channel has a specific time slot. Each channel is either 56kbps or 64kbps with most implementations today

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