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Secure PON Physical Security and PDS

Secure Passive Optical Networking Initiatives exist in the modern networking topology.  According to Wikipedia, Secure PON (as a trade activity) was developed in 2009 to meet SIPRNet requirements of the US Air Force, and secure passive optical network integrates Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology with PDS Protective Distribution System (PDS).


Wikipedia also states that a directive by the US Department of Army (DA) Chief Information Officer (CIO) that all camps, post and stations undergoing modernization aggressively adopt the technologies, by fiscal year 2013 in order to decrease operation cost and capital expenditures.


Fiber SenSys, Inc., of Hillsboro, OR, manufactures evaluated and certified alarm systems for the physical protection of PON called SecurLAN, also known in the military PDS security instructions as the "alarmed carrier".  It has been demonstrated that the FSI Secure PON solution offers the lowest cost per zone in this emerging technology market.


SecurLAN® is a technology invented by Fiber SenSys, Inc. (FSI) in 1996. It is a versatile physical network sensor that is enabled using several deployment options.  SecurLAN for PON technology involves dark (unused) fibers, in optical cables, that are used as distributed sensors in order to determine if an intruder is trying to cut into the cable and tap the fiber-optic network. It can also be used to ensure network uptime and detect either intentional or accidental physical network intrusions. SecurLAN is designed to detect small amounts of strain that are transferred to the sensing fiber when the cable is accessed. When the electro-optical alarm processing unit (APU) senses an intrusion, it signals an alarm, allowing the shut-down or re-routing of secure data.


Since SecurLAN uses dark fiber (where no data is transmitting through the spare fiber), it is unaffected by data protocols or bandwidth in the JWICS or SIPRNET PON. The only distinguishing feature of the PON (that is of importance to SecurLAN) is the type of sensing fiber (SM or MM) in the cable that houses the PON transmission fibers.


For many years, Fiber SenSys has been installing alarmed PDS solutions in the federal market, including installations that require the alarming of dark fiber, a solution where existing fiber located within a multi-strand cable is utilized as alarm fiber. In this scenario, either single-mode or multi-mode dark fiber (within specifications) can be used.


SecurLAN does not interact with the Red Signal or travel on the SIPRNET or the JWICS network – instead it sits in parallel, within the raceway or conduit. This cost-effective solution solves many critical problems associated with the challenges of designing and protecting a PDS. SecurLAN makes protecting DOD networks cost effective and enhances security through the elimination of the visible inspections.


As an Alarmed Carrier Hardened PDS compliant with the requirements of NSTISSI 7003 and Air Force AFMAN 33-201, Volume 8, AFSSI 7703 and also SPAWAR Approval – under NAVSO IA Pub 5239-22 U.S. Navy, the instructions that govern the protection of unencrypted National Security Information, SecurLAN is an authorized PDS option. As you may know, PDS can be used in lieu of encryption, and as such is a less expensive method of securing vital and sensitive data when compared to the cost of installing COMSEC devices. Most importantly, PDS is a requirement when routing through lower level Limited Control Areas (LCA's), and especially when encryption is not utilized.

 securlan pon - gpon dark fiber one slide 5-13

Please call us for design assistance or additional information.


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