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Q. What is "Communications Security"?
A. Communications security can be defined as the protection of information during transmission. Information may need to be protected from modification (accidental or malicious), destruction or disclosure.
Realistically, it is often not possible to prevent access to transmissions, so information can only be kept secure by disguising the content of the transmission. Modern communications require this to be achieved electronically, usually by some form of scrambling or encryption.
There are many reasons communications security may be required - in a recent survey, the most commonly cited reasons for securing transmissions were the prevention of accidental security breaches, the prevention of purposeful breaches, meeting Privacy Act requirements, and meeting customer expectations.

Q. Why use communications security devices?
A. Communications security is common sense. Information is a valuable commodity, and needs to be protected just like other commodities.
Protecting your communications is just another step against accidental or purposeful interference is a sensible business decision, regardless of whether or not your information is actually 'secret'. Most businesses keep documents in filing cabinets and lock office doors overnight; communications security is the next obvious step.

Q. What use is an encryptor to me when the people I deal with don't have one?
A. Questions like this were probably asked when PCs, fax machines and the Internet were introduced to the commercial environment. It is only a matter of time before communications security devices become a common item of business equipment. Meanwhile, this technology can provide organisations with a competitive advantage over those who do not have access to it.

Q. Do I really need a communications security system at all?
A. You can objectively determine your security needs by conducting a risk analysis. Not all organisations will need a secure communications network - it may be possible to maintain an adequate level of security through other means. There are a number of factors which can be considered in turn, allowing you to assess the potential risk to your organisation from transmitting unprotected information.