While there are a large number of individual cable security tools, each of these tools can be broken down into one of three categories. The first category is physical security cable locks, the kind used in computer theft prevention and as locks for bicycles and motorcycles. The second type of cable security tool is designed for physically securing the cable itself, and can include anything from high-durability cable sheathing to cable ducts. The third and final category of cable security devices is for those used to protect the data transmitted along electrical cables, such as cable scramblers, cable decoders and cable terminators.
Security Cable Locks
Security cable locks are fairly simple devices designed to physically secure a high-value item to an immovable object; for example, one might use a cable lock to attach a laptop to a work desk for theft prevention purposes, or to connect the frame of a bicycle to a bolted-down bike rack as a theft deterrent. Cable security locks act as a good deterrent against amateur thieves, but with the correct tools, they are fairly easy to bypass. This means that cable security locks make a good second line of defence but should not be depended upon as a sole deterrent.
Cable Shields and Ducts
Ducting shells are used to protect the physical security of cables and can be composed of either metal or heavy duty plastics. Ducting shells protect the cable inside from weather hazards, accidental impact and intentional tampering, by providing a physical barrier between the cable and the outside world, one that is more robust than the basic electrical shielding of the cable itself. Some ducts are full pipe configurations, while others are arch-shaped and use a pre-existing wall as backing. Arch-style cable shields are usually attached to the wall with multiple screw brackets. Electrical tape is sometimes used to hold the cable in place while the arch shielding is initially installed.
Securing Cable Transmitted Data
Cables are often used to transmit data, making devices to secure the date an important classification of cable security tool. The most common types of cable data security tools are the scramblers and decoders used to protect coaxial cable TV and Internet connections. Scramblers often look like thick tubes added to the cable line, but they can sometimes be internal composites of larger cable distribution boxes. Decoders can either resemble the cylinder-shaped scramblers, or be a built-in feature of cable TV boxes. Inline analogue scramblers and decoders have become less common in favour of digital encoding and decoding methods. Another device used in securing data cable lines is secure cable terminators, which physically lock out a cable outlet port so that a building occupant cannot use the cable port on the wall without the terminator being removed with a special tool, presumably one that only the cable company itself can obtain easily.