COMSEC (communications security)

Contributor(s): Ben Cole

Communications security (COMSEC) is the prevention of unauthorized access to telecommunications traffic, or to any written information that is transmitted or transferred. There are several COMSEC disciplines, including:

  • Cryptographic security - encrypts data and renders it unreadable until the data is decrypted.
  • Emission Security - prevents the release or capture of equipment emanations to prevent information from unauthorized interception.
  • Physical security - ensures the safety of, and prevents unauthorized access to, a network's cryptographic information, documents and equipment.
  • Transmission security - protects unauthorized access when data is physically transferred to prevent issues such as service interruption.


This was last updated in December 2014

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What technologies does your organization use as part of communications security?
We've implemented the same security technologies as most organizations, including firewalls, IDS/IPS, log collection, and so forth. On the mobile side, we've recently implemented a new MDM management platform that let's us create profiles and containerize applications. The challenge is not in implementing all of these kinds of technologies, but in gathering and interpreting all of the data that comes in. That's why we're in the process of implementing a SIEM platform, using Splunk.