Intrinsic Vulnerabilities of the Power Systems Supporting Communication Networks and Expert Strategies for Defense
By Alcatel-Lucent

Published 2007, Posted August 2008




Today’s communications network is only as safe as its power system. Recent natural disasters (Hurricane Katrina), intentional acts (the terrorist attacks of 9/11) and unintentional acts (the North East blackout) have underscored the importance of uninterrupted power to our communications infrastructure. When commercial AC is no longer available, the communications systems rely on a DC power infrastructure to maintain critical communications.

Knowing the vulnerabilities of the power system is essential to installing and maintaining a reliable power system. Although it is impossible to anticipate every threat, it is possible to have a thorough understanding of the power infrastructure. Through careful study, identification of potential weak points and the application of industry best practices, one fortifies the power infrastructure that protects the communications system from
power interruptions.

This white paper introduces the following concepts: Eight Ingredients framework of communications infrastructure; vulnerability versus threat; basic network power system definitions; network power systems vulnerabilities; and a strategy for mitigating vulnerabilities.



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