Tom EngelsWhen I was invited to present at this year’s Ciena EMEA Partner Summit,  one topic was really top of my mind: WAN security.

It’s topical because the sands of compliance are shifting again. After  the implementation of the new EU legislation, a data breach can cost companies  up to €100.000.000 in fines, or 5% of their global revenues: whichever is the  higher value. End-customers need to be informed of any data breaches, which can  cause irreparable damage to corporate reputations, and even result in  businesses going under.

WAN security – a critical  element of any in-depth defence strategy
So what are the risks of such a breach actually occurring on your  network and your customers’ data being compromised? After looking into it, we  found that they were actually pretty high.

This is because fibre is easy to tap. This can happen within data centre  buildings if appropriate physical security isn’t in place. However, it can also  happen in parking lots and even in the street, where simply lifting a man hole  cover can give you access to fibre circuits. While it was once thought that  data zipping across fibre at the speed of light was too difficult to  reconstruct, there are now apps that can do it.

Then there’s the fact that fibre taps are extremely difficult to detect, only making tiny, virtually imperceptible differences to the light frequencies in the network. Even if you do detect a tap in your network, it’s too late – the data is already gone.

So how can you make your network  services secure?
The short answer is that there’s only one way – and that’s end-to-end  encryption. It’s absolutely critical. The question is how can you do it in the  most cost-effective way possible?

This is where our partnership with Ciena comes in. We’ve found that the  best approach to delivering secure WAN services for customers is to deploy  Ciena DWDM technology, which has end-to-end encryption built in.

Proving the point: a real world  business case
So let’s look at how our partnership with Ciena delivered great  outcomes for one of our customers. We recently completed a project for a  completely redundant fibre network to connect data centers located 70kms apart.  To achieve regulatory compliance, the customer would have needed eight, 70km  dark fibre connections, with a total estimated cost that was more than a  million Euros per year, over three years.

Working with Ciena, we proposed a different, far more cost-effective  solution that also provided end-to-end data security at the fibre layer. With  Ciena DWDM and encryption, we were able to reduce the eight fibre connections  to just two, cutting the cost by a full 75 per cent over the same three years.

The value of partnership
Our partnership with Ciena was critical to the success of this project.  For example, we were able to take the customer to the Ciena lab in Ottawa to  show them exactly how DWDM would work in their organisation, and how the  end-to-end Ciena encryption could help them meet their regulatory requirements.  We also put them in touch with Ciena experts to answer the most detailed  questions on their expertise. This lab visit clearly illustrated the operational  simplicity of the Ciena encryption solution and at the end the benefits for  their organisation.

This  is all due to the combination of Telindus’  deep understanding of enterprise business requirements and Ciena’s  support and expertise. Telindus is recognized with Ciena’s  Advanced Technical Support Status (ATSS)  and is an accredited BizConnect partner.  This means customers benefit from highly skilled packet-optical specialists,  delivering Ciena network solutions from design to management, giving them  valuable experience and knowledge, as well as on-going technical advice and  support.

Telindus  was also commended as Ciena’s Innovation Partner of the Year at the recent Ciena EMEA Partner Summit in Barcelona!

Ciena’s technology and business support, combined with Telindus’  insight, means our solutions make a difference for the end-customer. It’s just  another example of how, working in partnership with Ciena, we can all achieve  great business outcomes.