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News

Armoured cabling meets new Air Force policy

Network Integrity Systems : 23 April, 2009  (Technical Article)
New Air Force policy on secure infrastructure calls for alarmed cabling systems with interlocking armour
The US Air Force has issued a new update to the policy for protected distribution systems (PDS) - including a major breakthrough in the way alarmed PDS can be installed - that significantly reduces deployment cost and complexity. As an alternative to traditional hardened carrier systems (such as EMT or commercial secure raceway), generic interlocking armoured cable alarmed by the Interceptor Optical Network Security System can now be used for securing SIPRNet and JWICS networks.

According to a March 2009 Emission Security (EMSEC) Policy issued by the Air Force CTTA, flexible armoured cable used in conjunction with Interceptor is an approved PDS solution for Conus US Air Force, Air National Guard and USAF Reserve bases, as well as off-base government locations operating at Secret and below and Top Secret/Specat classification levels. The solution is also approved for Oconus air bases and facilities operating at Secret and below classification levels.

The flexible interlocking armour in the cable provides the robust physical protection formerly provided by the hardened PDS, and the continuous monitoring performed by Interceptor replaces the daily visual inspections. This permits the cables to be deployed in traditional cable raceways installed above ceilings or below raised floors, eliminating the need to build a complex, hardened PDS system from EMT or commercial products and the lengthy, disruptive construction projects associated with it. Furthermore, when the network configuration changes, or personnel move between offices or buildings, Interceptor can quickly and easily be redeployed.

"This policy is game changing for Air Force network operators and facilities managers," said Joe Giovannini of Network Integrity Systems, maker of Interceptor. "Not only does it accelerate the speed of secure network deployment and reduce the manpower of on-going maintenance, the armoured cable and Interceptor solution also vastly improves facility aesthetics by getting the ugly metal pipe off the wall. By using this approach, the US government and military will save untold millions of dollars.

"In addition to the Air Force's approval of this powerful security solution, Army and Navy have also taken advantage of these technological advancements to push secure networking to more users," Giovannini said. "Army and Navy use of Interceptor with armoured cable is reviewed and approved by their respective CTTAs on a case-by-case basis. Navy is currently implementing its first deployment of this kind at a Naval installation in the eastern United States."

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