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VoIP Gateways - Secure Converged Communications is Possible with VoIP-over-VPN
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November 01, 2010
Secure Converged Communications is Possible with VoIP-over-VPN


By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor


Enterprises looking to reduce costs associated with communications services tend to be attracted to VoIP solutions, and with good reason. Implementing VoIP gateways, integrated with other products and services, can significantly reduce phone bills and enable network architectures that are cheaper and easier to maintain.


But, there is the issue of security. If voice and data traffic are transported over public networks, how can a business ensure that its systems are safe from hackers, snoopers and other interceptors? Military, financial and government organizations are likely to be especially reluctant to cash in on the potential benefits of VoIP because of security concerns.

In a recent white paper, Patton Technologies address just this topic, providing an overview of emerging encryption standards and how they compare with the security of using virtual private networks (VPNs) to create safe VoIP implementations.

According to Patton (News - Alert), VoIP-over-VPN is the best option now available for organizations that must balance security with the cost savings of converged digital voice and data communications.

Securing converged communications networks, Patton says, is achievable by adding voice encryption to VoIP gateways. The company first developed this technology back in 2006, applying existing data encryption mechanisms inherently available in VPN protocols.

“The VoIP gateway-router first converts the analog voice signal to digital form, encapsulates the digitized voice within IP packets, then encrypts the digitized voice using IPsec, and finally routes the encrypt-ed voice packets securely through a VPN tunnel,” Patton explains in its white paper. “At the remote site, another VoIP router decodes the voice and converts the digital voice to an analog signal for delivery to the phone.”

By using VPN tunnels with IPsec and DES/AES 256-bit encryption to create secure connections for carrying encrypted voice and data over non-secure networks, the VoIP-over-VPN approach elegantly and effectively adds a needed layer of safety, making VoIP a viable option for organizations that wouldn’t otherwise be able to consider it.

In its white paper, Patton explores other advantages of VoIP-over-VPN. For example, this approach to security overcomes challenges with firewalls often encountered when using SIP (the preferred VoIP protocol).

Learn more about VoIP-over-VPN by reading Patton’s full white paper on the topic. Also, check out the company’s TMCnet.com channel, VoIP Gateways.


Mae Kowalke is a TMCnet contributor. She is Manager of Stories at Neundorfer, Inc., a cleantech company in Northeast Ohio. She has more than 10 years experience in journalism, marketing and communications, and has a passion for new tech gadgets. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard


 
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