Cybersecurity has become a critical concern for business owners as digital spaces become increasingly risky. While many start with the basic firewall to protect their network, the physical connection itself is equally important. It is like making sure you have secure and quality doors and windows prior to putting alarms on them. To determine the most secure type of internet connection, we consulted with Robert Lozanski, a member of AT&T’s Solution Consultant team. The most common types of internet connections are copper, fiber, and wireless networks.
Copper cables are the original internet connections that transmit data in the form of electrical signals. While this type of connection has been used for years, copper is difficult to maintain, has limited speed options, and degrades with time. Cellular networks provide access to the internet by transmitting data over the air. The network connects to cellular towers rather than cables in the ground. While cellular internet has made huge technological advancements with the rollout of 5G, it still has its limitations. Fiber optic internet uses a network of bundled strands of glass called fiber optic cables to deliver internet service through pulses of light. Fiber optics are the type of internet connections that offer the highest speed options.
A secure network is one that has high levels of confidentiality, integrity, and availability, which can be measured against the CIA triad. Wired connections are still the primary choice for businesses prioritizing their internet connections due to their reliability and bandwidth availability. A dedicated connection, also known as a point-to-point connection, is where the provider builds out a single line of fiber to an individual customer. Unlike shared connections that segment out the bandwidth to neighboring units, a dedicated connection is reserved for a single unit. When using the CIA metric for security, a dedicated fiber circuit comes out on top due to its high levels of confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
Dedicated fiber circuits are extremely private for businesses that host their infrastructure onsite, such as web-hosting servers and email servers. A dedicated connection is also crucial for businesses that utilize VoIP. With AT&T Dedicated Internet, businesses are able to prioritize mission-critical data and are guaranteed call quality when it comes to VoIP. A dedicated fiber circuit is the only connection backed up by Service Level Agreements for availability, latency, jitter, and packet loss. While the monthly cost may be higher, it is important to analyze the impact and financial loss the business may incur if their internet is down.
While a dedicated circuit will provide a solid foundation, it is equally important to consider additional layers of cybersecurity. A shared connection is where multiple units share the same bandwidth with limited speeds available. This is the type of connection most people picture when they think of fiber, and it’s becoming an increasingly cost-effective and popular option. Unfortunately, shared fiber is limited in its availability, as it is only available in qualified areas where providers build their infrastructure. AT&T shared fiber facilities are available to qualified areas. Ultimately, the search for the most secure connection does not stop at the physical connection. Additional layers of cybersecurity are essential to ensure a truly confidential connection.