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Is Your Data Electromagnetically Secure?

Servers and other electronic, magnetic, and wireless equipment emit and are affected by electromagnetic radiation. This gives rise to three potentially serious problems: snooping, interference, and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) susceptibility. Fortunately, all three problems can be easily mitigated with a faraday cage. The idea is that surrounding your equipment on all sides with a grounded metal cage that conducts electricity essentially shields the equipment from electrical energy. As long as the equipment doesn’t touch the cage, wireless signals are prevented from getting in or out. Cages can also double as locked structures to keep unauthorized personnel away from sensitive equipment.

In addition to concerns about snooping, destruction of data through EMP is an important consideration. EMP has always been a risk due to the theoretical possibility that lightning or solar flares could trigger an electromagnetic pulse strong enough to damage computers and other electrical equipment. However, recent developments in directed-energy weapons and the threat of nuclear terrorism have heightened that possibility. In the past, nuclear preparedness seemed to be an irrelevant consideration, since nuclear war was considered an all-out event with such total destruction that securing data would be pointless. However, with third-world countries able to implement 70+ year-old fission technology, terrorist groups able to achieve nation-like status, and Russian military strategists considering the idea of “de-escalating” conflicts through limited nuclear attacks, being prepared for EMPs emanating from distant nuclear explosions perhaps becomes worthy of consideration in a disaster preparedness plan. The use of faraday cages, location of sensitive equipment on lower floors or underground, and redundancy at a distance can all play a part in such preparedness efforts.

You can download plans to build your own faraday cage at the following site:

There also special wallets and cases that you can use to protect small RFID devices from snooping or interference, such as at the following sites:

Ready-made faraday tents are also available, such as at www.paraben.com/stronghold-tent.html

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