What is Layer 1 Encryption?

Layer 1 encryption (L1E or L1 Encryption) secures all communication traffic on the in the optical transport layer using a highly secure public key-exchange algorithm, making all data undecipherable to network intruders. In recent years, the optical transport layer (L1) and the various protocols including voice, data, ethernet, fiber, SDI, and CPRI protocols are an increasing threat vector for networks. As more sensitive data and customer's information are transmitted across long distance communication networks, layer 1 encryption becomes necessary to prevent the interception of data as it travel across a network.

Apollo L1OE Application Note

Why do networks need Layer 1 Encryption?

Optical networks support all communications traffic and cover the widest geographic areas making them susceptible to attacks at multiple points. Layer 1 encryption is the foundation layer for protecting optical networks, especially with rising concern of quantum computing's ability to break current public key-exchange algorithms. Layer 1 encryption is a powerful tool in the future-proofing networks against unwanted network intrusion, and is a particularly attractive for businesses because it does not add any latency or overhead performance penalties. Similar to the way that a home or a business uses multiple layers of security, layer 1 encryption is increasingly the foundation layer for protecting communications networks. In response to the evolving cyber security threat and several large-scale breaches, new regulation is pressuring organizations to protect not only data centers and other forms of resting data but data being transported through existing network infrastructure.

Ribbon's Layer 1 Optical Encryption

Ribbon’s Apollo optical product line uniquely provides both per-service as well as per-link optical encryption. It covers all applications from point-to-point connections to mesh networks, and Apollo optically encrypted signals can even be transported as alien wavelengths on foreign networks. Ribbon’s cost-effective and flexible Apollo optical networking system adds layer 1 optical encryption easily to any network, allowing network operators to use it for internal purposes or to extend it as a value-added service to end user customers. Apollo encrypts the service payload of an OTN-framed signal using using AES256-GCM coding. Learn more about Ribbon's Layer 1 Optical Encryption solutions below.

Apollo L1OE Application Note