From the SIP Trunking Experts

October 30, 2015

Protecting UC and VoIP from Compromise by the Bad Guys

By Peter Bernstein
Senior Editor


One of the hot topics at TMC’s (News - Alert) recently concluded ITEXPO in Anaheim was a session I happened to moderate on protecting carrier revenue loss due to IP PBX fraud.  While the focus of that session was on carrier revenue, realities are that going to all-IP networks by enterprises presents substantial security challenges for business customers as well. This is particularly true as the market for IP-based and SIP=enabled unified communications (UC) and collaboration moves from being a ‘nicety’ to a necessity.

Without trying to be too alarmist, the facts are that the benefits of going all-IP are compelling—reduced costs, higher quality, more features, improved productivity, and more. In particular, going to VoIP expands the plane of vulnerability to such malicious things as Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks, information/identity theft and the aforementioned toll fraud.

The problem is that because voice is now data don’t think for a minute that it is different when it comes to be compromised.  It is not.  In fact, The Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA) estimates that fraud alone cost the industry $46.3 billion in 2013, proving that voice communications systems remain a lucrative target for hackers and thieves.

This addition of exposing voice to attackers has made the securing of it a challenge for IT professionals. The good news is that what is known as the “Swiss Army Knife” for enabling IP-based interactions, Session Border Controllers (SBCs) are proving to be not just the means for transitioning “E”verything to IP but serve a a great means of protecting all of that real-time communications on the move. 

The utility of SBCs as protection will be the subject of an informative webinar, Putting Your UC and Enterprise Assets on the World Wide Web. To be held, Wednesday, November 04, 2015 at 2 p..m. EST,  you are invited to join me, Gordon Eddy (News - Alert), Director, Product Management, and Umar Kabir, Product Manager, Sonus as we delve into the value of SBCs in:

  • Securing the network border against unwanted/unauthorized intrusion;
  • Preventing network flooding as a result of DoS and Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks; and
  • Hardening the security of enterprises’ network services and connections to remote clients to prevent illegal use (e.g., toll fraud) by external users.

As noted, the move to making all communications IP has extraordinary benefits but they come with security challenges as well.  SBCs as part of your foundation for securing your communications infrastructure can and should play a key role as you transition to an all-IP world.  And, from a risk management perspective they can provide something extremely valuable, i.e., peace of mind.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi