Procedural Security Guidelines

Assess security risks carefully when deploying VoIP systems. An especially challenging security environment is created when new technologies are deployed. Organizations should consider potential issues including their level of knowledge and training in the technology, the maturity and quality of their security practices, controls, policies, and architectures, and their understanding of the associated security risks. Moreover, the integration of a VoIP system into an already congested or overburdened network could be catastrophic for an organization's technology infrastructure. Organizations should conduct careful investigations to find out which solutions are best in terms of both functionality and security.

Perform security audits regularly. Also conduct vulnerability threat assessments. Researchers continually discover and new software continually introduces new vulnerabilities. To maintain security over time and through changes, systems (including IP phones), processes, and custom application software should be tested frequently from both the network perspective (regular penetration testing aimed at obtaining remote access) and the lab environment (DoS testing and physical access to the device). In addition, deploy fraud detection measures such as billing reconciliation. VoIP providers should reconcile their CDR usage on a daily (if not hourly) basis with their peers, when possible.

Review privacy and data retention requirements carefully. And do so in the presence of competent legal advisors. Although legal issues regarding VoIP are far beyond the scope of this chapter, readers should be aware that laws governing interception of VoIP lines and retention of log records may be different from those of conventional telephone systems.

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