Is Fiber Optic Networking Technology More Secure Than Copper?

Networking Copper or Fiber

Fiber optic cabling is commonly perceived as a solid choice for mitigating network security concerns. Because optical connections transmit data using light, they don’t radiate signals that can be intercepted. Security for traditional copper Ethernet connections can now be significantly enhanced, however, thanks to end-to-end encryption standards.

The MACsec IEEE standard (IEEE 802.1AE) enhances security on networks by providing point-to-point, Layer 2 encryption between devices on a virtual or physical local area network (LAN). This eliminates the need for a dedicated security device, in some instances. Though MACsec was introduced in 2006, its adoption has been gaining traction recently after support was added to the mainline Linux® kernel. As a result, modern MACsec-enabled network switches and computing hardware can now deliver enhanced security for LANs, regardless of network media. This reduces the security advantage fiber optics had over copper.