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Data diode

Data diode definition

A data diode is a network security device that ensures unidirectional data transfer. Once the data is sent through, it can't go back the way it came. This is helpful when you want to send out information but avoid any information (or potential threats) coming back in. It's based on the concept of an optical diode which allows light to pass in one direction.

A data diode system generally comprises a transmitter, a receiver, and a unidirectional data path linking the two. It uses optical or electromagnetic links to enforce one-way communication physically.

Where data diodes are used

  • Military and defense. Dada diodes can ensure, for example, that radar data or real-time video feeds are securely transmitted from a military drone to a ground station without any risk of data leakage or cyberattacks.
  • Nuclear facilities. In nuclear power plants, data diodes are used to protect critical control systems from external threats while allowing operational data, such as system status, performance metrics, or event logs, to be transmitted to external monitoring systems.
  • Industrial control systems. In industrial environments such as manufacturing plants, chemical processing facilities, or oil and gas refineries, data diodes can protect control systems from cyber threats while allowing for the secure transmission of data.
  • Financial services. Data diodes can be used in the financial industry to ensure the one-way flow of sensitive financial data.