The lack of basic power and telecommunications cabling security controls, along with protective measures, could cause unexpected outages due to accidental or deliberate damage.

Unplugging or moving the incorrect power and telecommunications cables, even with the best of intentions, could also cause an unplanned outage simply due to a lack of basic cabling controls. These cabling security issues are the focus of pitfall #45 in my eBook, Security Program Pitfalls and Prescription to Avoid Them.

Power and telecommunications cabling that is in place to support information systems or transfer data should be protected from interception, interference, or damage. Your organization should use clearly identifiable cable markings to minimize potential handling errors, such as the accidental unplugging or movement of incorrect patching or network cables. Physical access to information system distribution and transmission lines should be controlled within your organization’s facilities (e.g., wiring closets, patch panels, network jacks, etc.).

Physical network ports throughout your facilities should be disabled when there is not a continuous need for them to be active. Having a live network port outlet (e.g., in the lobby or reception area of your facilities), with no additional technical controls, could potentially provide a hacker or other bad actor direct access into your organization’s networks.

Depending on the size of your organization and the number of information systems in use, cabling security controls may require a notable time investment to implement correctly. This is especially true if you are trying to make cables look less like a bowl of fettuccine and more like a well-organized field of corn. It is highly recommended to spend the time that is necessary to ensure cables are labeled and neatly organized to prevent unintentional, unforced errors. A short-term project to address cabling today, will help prevent countless issues tomorrow.