VoIP Network Security
Security and VoIP
It's been noted several times in the past that one of the biggest differences between the regular PSTN network and VoIP from the point of view of the administrators is that VoIP requires active management. This is because the voice data is passed over the Internet and the company's regular LAN which is under the control of the IT department. In the PSTN system, there was no such thing as "overusing" a telephone line. Circuit switching technology ensures that when two people speak over a PSTN system, the entire circuit belongs to them and no one else.
However in a VoIP system, it's possible for a system to become overloaded and require active management on the part of the IT administrators. But there's another aspect of network management which is equally important and must not be overlooked - security. The need to ensure that a VoIP system is secure might not seem as urgent as ensuring clear voice quality for example, but its importance cannot be overestimated.
In the long run, the consequences of a security breach can be very dramatic and damaging. A company could end up getting billed for millions of dollars or its sensitive trade secrets can be stolen by those seeking to hack the network.
IT administrators responsible for the security of their networks must understand the implications which VoIP will have on it. In the end, it's all about the robustness of the underlying network which will determine whether or not it's susceptible to VoIP attacks. If a particular network is not secure, then VoIP will expose it to even greater dangers. It increases the surface of vulnerability and IT managers must take steps to harden it against intrusions.
There are several different types of threats. Man in the middle attacks can compromise valuable data security and leak trade secrets out of the organization. Other attacks are interested in making use of your VoIP infrastructure to make calls of their own and leave you with the bill. Since VoIP is an evolving field, IT administrators need to keep on their toes and keep themselves informed about the latest threats in the wild. In addition, they must understand the SIP protocol and read up about possible exploits. This doesn't just include the wired LAN but extends to secure mobile hosted VoIP systems as well.
VoIP also allows calls to be recorded in HD voice for later retrieval and the existence of a secure HD voice PBX system is important so that vital trade secrets are not lost.
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