Ensuring the security of sensitive data has become a major concern for governments and global enterprises in all industries. As more businesses migrate to the cloud and big data environments, the task of protecting mission-critical traffic from unlawful interception and hacking becomes increasingly challenging and evermore urgent.

Demand for tighter security is coming from enterprise and government organizations, who are more aware of the dangers than ever before. Following recent high-profile attacks, many now prioritize cybersecurity and are choosing to trust only in companies with a solid reputation in this area. Stricter international data protection standards such as the European Union’s GDPR are also adding to the growing demand for comprehensive safety measures.

This is why many businesses from financial institutions to healthcare providers and beyond are now implementing or exploring managed encryption as a service (EaaS) to protect their data in motion. Sectors of government, technology providers and utilities are also among those looking to leverage this most flexible and comprehensive security model.

Layer 1 encryption as a service

The most significant recent development is that communication service providers (CSPs) have now begun to offer managed encryption on-demand through simple, pay-as-you go models. What’s more, CSPs can now deliver protection at the lowest network layer. With Layer 1 (physical layer) encryption, data is protected throughout the network stack. It also adds barely any latency and can be provided more cost-effectively than other security methods.

One of the first major CSPs to offer Layer 1 encryption as a service (EaaS) across its entire footprint is Zayo. The global cloud provider created its EaaS offering in direct response to customer demand. Being able to encrypt high-speed traffic and handle multiple protocols besides Ethernet were other key requirements. Achieving this has already made Zayo’s EaaS popular with major customers.

Level 3 Communications is another multinational CSP currently harnessing Layer 1 encryption technology to secure their customers’ data flow. Level 3’s Encrypted Waves service offers enterprises peace of mind by addressing security threats such as unlawful interception and fiber tapping without sacrificing network performance. Their solution provides customers with total control through built-in encryption and key management for a truly customer-defined, adaptive networking experience.

Comprehensive protection

At ADVA Optical Networking, we’re pleased to see the success of these approaches. Our Layer 1 in-flight encryption technology is at the heart of some of the most innovative EaaS offerings on the market. Over 250 of the world’s most security-sensitive networks are using our ConnectGuard™ solution to ensure the integrity and security of their customers’ mission-critical information.

Our ConnectGuard™ really is the most comprehensive system available for secure, high-speed data center connectivity. One of the key building blocks of the product is the complete separation of the encryption domain management system from the service itself. This means that access to the encryption keys is not granted to the CSP, which are privately and securely managed directly by their customers. Strictly separated management of the encryption domain is a prerequisite for regulatory compliance.

It also adds almost no latency or complexity to transport processes and meets the most rigorous industry standards, including approval for use with NATO RESTRICTED information. That’s why so many enterprises are entrusting their most critical data to networks bolstered with EaaS built on ADVA ConnectGuard™.

Of course, the process never ends, and as new cyber threats emerge, we’ll keep on advancing our technology to stay ahead of the game. But for now, it’s great news for enterprises that large-scale CSPs are offering managed encrypted connectivity that delivers true value for money and genuine peace of mind.