In a recent report produced by Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), it seems that there is still a lot of concern about the Security of Internet Protocol Telephony among small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
A survey of 350 SMBs (500 or fewer employees) found that just 50 percent of the businesses trust the security offered today by IP telephony product and solution vendors. That’s a slight improvement from a year ago, when 48 percent of SMBs surveyed said they trusted IP telephony security.
But IP telephony still lags behind traditional telephony systems (82 percent), Ethernet data networks (72) percent and wireless local area networks (60 percent) in the security confidence level SMBs have, according to the CompTIA survey.
“People are much more sensitized to disruptions in voice communications than they are with data communications,” said John Venator, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA. “If the delivery of an email is delayed by 30 seconds, neither the message sender nor the receiver is likely to notice. But a 30-second gap in the middle of a phone call is another story entirely.
”Even a brief interruption in voice service can have disastrous consequences for an organization, in lost business, downtime, customer dissatisfaction, or negative publicity,” Venator added. “That’s why it is incumbent on IP telephony vendors and solution providers to place security at the forefront of their offerings, and not leave it as an afterthought.”
It seems from these results that we have a lot of education to do in the market place especially when consumers think that Wireless Communication is more secure than VoIP
The full report can be found here
So we have all seen the hype surrounding the release last week of the iPhone from Apple and the announcement of the Law Suit by Cisco who have the trademark for the iPhone name, well what impact (if any) will this new device have on the VoIP market place. It appears that the device is WiFi enabled and as Apple’s digital rights management system, does not allow iPod to iPod transfer, so a phone with WiFi can only mean Internet access, and CEO Steve Jobs showed just that kind of access at the launch. The demo made it appear that the data connection came from Cingular (US Mobile Operator), but maybe it really came via a WiFi connection.
So the $64,000 question is will the iPhone have some wireless VoIP capability built in when it ships (to the US) in June, if so then it will have some effect on the relationship with Cingular who it has been rumoured has produced some special services on it’s network to enable the Visual Voicemail feature of the iPhone- if it does not then in Europe and other countries around the world it will be severly disadvantaged against products such as Nokia E Series and N Series phones that have a SIP client built in providing support for FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) Applications.
So lets wait and see – we have six months till the launch in the US and for sure the specifications will change between now and then, one thing is for sure it has to be the coolest looking mobile phone produced yet.
In the meantime have a look at this spoof commercial
Or to be more precise power to your Voice over IP products. Many companies these days will routinely protect their data servers from power failures or fluctuations with a UPS (Uninteruptable Power Supply) but may neglect their voice products.
Most of the new generation IP PBX systems are server based so it is relatively easy to protect them with a UPS but make sure that if possible you use the shutdown software supplied with the UPS product, usually this is via a USB connection or if several servers are fed from one UPS then this will be done across a network (LAN). The software will perform an orderly closedown on the operating system to avoid dammage to the hard disk or file system once the batteries in the UPS are close to flat.
The newest VoIP server products usually use a Linux Operating System due to the inherent stability and reliability it offers, however only a few UPS systems currently offer their own Linux based shutdown software.
We have successfully utilised PowerWare LANSafe but we know that some of our resellers have used the NUT (Network UPS Tools) software that actually ships as part of the SME Linux used with the MKC Networks 7000 CS – contact us if you would like a document on how to setup either one.
Oh and we nearly forgot to mention that if you are using Power Over Ethernet Switches (POE) and PSTN/ISDN gateways then make sure they are connected to the UPS so that in the event of power failure your whole VoIP system will continue working
Happy New Year ! – and no we are not talking about the anti-social habit of spitting but SPIT which stands for Spam for Internet Telephony and this is essentially SPAM for voicemail.
With regular telephony Spammers are limited as they essentially have to make telemarketing calls which have a call cost and the cost of labour to be on such calls, however Internet Telephony can be compared to email and the way that spammers use this medium to distribute bulk messages. Now that VoIP is becoming dominated by the SIP (session Initiation Protocol) protocol then telemarketers could make bulk calls to SIP addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org and if an answer is received then a recorded message could be played – the advantage to the spammer is this method has very little or no cost to them and of course this is a big disadvantage to us end users.
The reality is that most VoIP systems are still using PSTN/ISDN connections via gateways and some use SIP trunks with ITSPs (Internet Telephony Service Providers), however as long as your server/system does not accept calls from unathenticated SIP devices then you should be OK. There are measures being taken by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) who produced the SIP standard to avoid SPIT and industry groups such as VoIP Security Alliance (VOIPSA) are recommending best practices to avoid the problem. For sure this is something we have to be aware of for the future.