ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

VoIP Security – Skype's Noncommittal Response

Updated on July 24, 2012
Skype Monitoring Your Calls
Skype Monitoring Your Calls

The Many Facets of VoIP Security

Security means many things to different people. For some, it might imply safety from unauthorized access to the network. For others, it might mean having solid defenses against DDoS attacks. For many however security in the context of a VoIP system means protection from eavesdroppers. Businesses that migrate to VoIP from the traditional PSTN system have every incentive to protect their trade secrets and to ensure that critical communications don't lose their integrity. We have already seen that the SIP protocol incorporates quite a few security mechanisms to ensure that private conversations remain private. Not all VoIP providers however use SIP – and even those that do, don't necessarily implement all the security features that are available. Take for example the SRTP protocol that is a secure alternative to the RTP protocol frequently used in VoIP. Certain SIP providers support it, and many don't.

What does it mean however when one of the most popular VoIP applications of the planet, namely Skype, refuses to answer a question as to whether or not it is eavesdropping on their users calls? The concern is legitimate specially because Skype had recently applied and obtained a patent for monitoring user communications on its network. When the spokesperson was recently asked whether or not they actually did this, they refused to answer the question. Such responses do not provide the kind of confidence that consumers and businesses require.

Alternatives to Skype

VoIP security is not something to be taken lightly. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to Skype and many providers would gladly provide you with the security you desire. If you stay in Los Angeles for example, there are many Los Angeles VoIP providers will provide you with the necessary business security.

An SIP VoIP stream is divided into two parts. The signaling protocol sets up and tears down the call. It determines what ports are going to be used for the actual media communication which will use the RTP or the SRTP protocol. At least we know exactly what happens in SIP VoIP calls. Skype however uses a proprietary protocol and we're not exactly sure how it works. Businesses prefer to use technologies that are made up of open standards so that they can be researched and evaluated for potential weaknesses. There are no "back doors" that can be built into the system if everything is open.

This is one of the reasons why SIP is preferable to Skype. You wouldn't want any critical business communications to go over someone else's network without you knowing exactly what measures are taken to secure it.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)