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Voice over IP Security Planning, Threats and Recommendations by Dan Sass on 30/12/05

Over the past several years, we have witnessed the growth of Voice over IP (VoIP) and the advancements in technology to provide circuit switched communications using the Internet and private IP networks. Voice over IP is gaining popularity as current economic pressures combined with large investments made in networking technology from the hay days of the Internet have many firms considering the advantages of combining their voice and data networks. By utilizing existing infrastructures, the migration of voice onto a common network with data raises hopes of increased efficiencies and reduced expenditures. (Werbach, 2005)

Initially, the roadblocks to adopting VoIP were filled with concern about whether the technology would work as well as traditional telephony does with ubiquitous availability. The issues that occurred echoes, delays, and dropped calls frustrated vendors and companies alike. Today we see many of these fundamental issues fade away as VoIP technology becomes more sophisticated, growing into a viable solution. (Werbach, 2005)

Just as the technical hurdles are being dealt with, a new fear has emerged as people realize combining two very dissimilar communication types also combined threats and introduced vulnerabilities never seen before in data or voice systems. The challenge of securing VoIP has become the central issue of discussion and a new barrier to embracing the technology. The ability to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and voice communications on a common network has important business impacts. (Collier, 2005) VoIP networks use servers, routers, switches, applications, unique protocols and many computing elements to support not only voice communications, but also collaboration.

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