Lightower serves up optical encryption service, enhances Layer-1 security protection for businesses


Lightower Fiber Networks is responding to the rise in cyberthreats to businesses by introducing a new optical encryption service that offers physical layer, protocol-agnostic encryption delivered as a service.

Running at line-speed in bandwidths from 10 Gbps to 100 Gbps, the new optical encryption service offers Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) certification and is available immediately. 

The new optical encryption service is based on Ciena’s WaveLogic Encryption solution. Ciena’s encryption solution delivers full line-rate encryption-decryption, for all protocols, at all frame or packet sizes with minimal latency impact. 


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Because the managed encryption service operates at Layer 1, customers don’t need to purchase, deploy and completely manage separate encryption devices. Customers retain full control of security keys, while Lightower manages the underlying equipment and network operations.

RELATED: Lightower builds 350-plus fiber miles in North Carolina, deepens southern market presence

As a protocol-agnostic service, all packet and frame sizes, and all data types including Ethernet, Fiber Channel, OTN, SONET, and SDH are supported. Encrypting at Layer 1 maximizes throughput by eliminating encryption headers, which can increase bandwidth usage by up to 50%. Additionally, Lightower’s service eliminates the latency impact of encryption on the end user.

Besides FIPS-compliant AES-256 encryption, Lightower’s service supports a long list of security certifications and features, including two X.509 certificate security systems working in combination, Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) algorithms, and seamless integration with Public Key Infrastructures (PKIs). 

Lightower’s timing could not be better. A recent Ponemon study revealed that 47% of corporate respondents said their organization experienced a material security breach that involved an attack on their network or corporate systems.

While Lightower did not cite a specific customer, the service provider said that any industry can benefit from optical encryption, especially those with regulated security measures in healthcare, finance, retail, government and public companies. Optical encryption defends all in-flight data from endpoint to endpoint, the company added.

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