Data Privacy Day: How to protect your data and data traffic?

28-01-2021

Today is Data Privacy Day, when we pay extra attention to privacy and data integrity: issues that are becoming ever more important. For example in the GDPR, which grants citizens many rights in relation to data privacy. To ensure that this can be guaranteed when exchanging data between different branches or with the cloud, your organisation needs to be in control. Dark Fibre makes this possible for your organisation, as Dark Fibre allows you to create a network set up entirely in line with your wishes and requirements.

Does your organisation fulfil today’s privacy demands?

Back in the day – when you were probably very young – you must have hooked up a piece of string between two tin cans, pulled it tight and used it to talk to your friend. And the best thing about this universal children’s game was the secrecy, right? No one could listen in to what you were saying. Which was just as well, because what you had to say was for your friend’s ears only.

Today, we all often still have a need for privacy. It’s no one else’s business what we discuss with our colleagues or customers. And – seen from the other side – no one needs to know what customer data your organisation stores. Just as long as your organisation and your customers have secure access to the right data.

This is a topic that deserves special attention: especially on Thursday, 28 January. Because today is Data Privacy Day (in Europe: Data Protection Day): the day on which privacy and the integrity of private data are put in the spotlight all over the world. Here too, as data protection is closely related to the way in which we connect to different locations.

Data protection

28 January was not chosen by chance. It is exactly forty years ago today that European countries signed Convention 108 – the first international convention dealing with the protection of personal data. On that date, the participating countries undertook to enshrine this as a fundamental right in law.

Since then, this protection has been greatly extended. For example, in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which grants extensive rights to citizens. Privacy and the integrity of data are also central tenets of this regulation. Citizens must have confidence that their personal data are and will remain correct, as well as being confident that unauthorised parties cannot get access to this information.

The best way to achieve this?

It is pretty similar to that trick with the tin cans and string we used to do as kids. You and your friend wanted to be able to communicate over a longer distance, without others being able to listen in. That one thread – a direct connection between two friends – made this possible.

This is exactly what Dark Fibre offers. Dark Fibre gives your organisation a physical connection through fibre optics between different branches or servers in the cloud. A private connection no one else can access.

It works like this: the thick fibre-optic cables in the ground are made up of 96 or even 144 separate fibre-optic threads. Some of these unilluminated threads – hence the name Dark Fibre – are reserved for your organisation. Physical connections to the next fibre optic are made where the fibre optics split, at intersections, ensuring the shortest route from A to B.

Benefits of Dark Fibre

This approach offers many benefits. With Dark Fibre, you can create your own fibre-optic network, through which only your organisation can communicate, without intervention by any service provider. This offers the best possible guarantee that your data is protected, as well as ensuring that this data gets from A to B correctly.

  1. Dark Fibre also offers your organisation unlimited capacity, as it is highly scalable. Fibre-optic cables can be seen as an empty highway – you can decide how many lanes there will be, and how much traffic can travel on the road. Travel literally at the speed of light, meaning that latency is incredibly low: data can travel from Amsterdam to Frankfurt and back again in just a few milliseconds.
  2. In addition, Dark Fibre is easy to manage. In principle, this network has only two entry points: where the fibre optic starts, and where it ends. This means it is also possible to centralise access to the data at the end of a network. Employees (or customers) can only access their data through this connection – a crucial element of good security.
  3. Furthermore, your organisation retains full control. You are free to determine your own set-up, how to deal with data transmission and Quality of Service. This is the optimum way of guaranteeing monitoring of the quality of the data, as well as making it possible to separate data flows.

For additional security, the data traffic can also be encrypted, or encoded. You can choose to encrypt each wavelength (colour) or each connection, by applying encryption in the WDM equipment – where the connection to the fibre optic is made. This means that each affiliated organisation or department can have its own encrypted connection, which is also faster than encryption at application level.

But what if one particular fibre optic is out of action, you may wonder?

Although the risk of this is small, for absolute peace of mind you can choose a redundant network: a ring set-up that means data can be sent via two connections, each taking its own, unique route. If one of the connections goes down, the traffic is automatically routed through the second connection, so the network as a whole will continue to work as it should.

Indispensable

For many organisations, Dark Fibre is already indispensable. For (public) organisations operating from different locations and dealing with a lot of privacy sensitive data, for example, Dark Fibre is the ideal solution. Sharing data through your own, sealed network means the influence of external factors is minimal, so there will be no interruptions. This also means these organisations and their customers don’t need to worry about information leaking from their own network.

Given the increased demands in terms of privacy and data integrity, interest in Dark Fibre is growing. Organisations that have to be able to show at any moment what is happening with data they manage are recognising Dark Fibre as a solution that offers them control over what data is kept where and how securely this data is protected.

Particularly as the quantities of data and the number of applications are increasing and since the lockdown in March of last year radically changed the way we work – more people logging in at the same time from different locations – the importance of good data connections is greater than ever. Dark Fibre allows you to make these connections.

Dark Fibre solutions for your organisation?

Our specialists are happy to discuss all options with you.