Summary

VoIP is the transmission of voice conversations over the Internet or through any other IP data network. It is a very large, complex, rapidly evolving field and represents one of the most important emerging trends in modern telecommunications.

As with many new technologies, VoIP introduces both opportunities and security risks. Lower cost and greater flexibility are among its advantages, but differences between VoIP and traditional telephony may result in significant security issues that must be carefully considered and addressed.

It is often mistakenly assumed that securing VoIP components requires simply plugging into an already secured IP network because digitized voice travels in IP packets. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. VoIP technology requires a different approach to security, which takes into account the unique nature of telecommunication networks. The specific characteristics of VoIP combined with the mission-critical importance of many voice applications impose strict requirements and introduce new challenges for VoIP implementations.

To effectively secure a VoIP infrastructure, therefore, organizations need to be proactive at three levels: procedural, network, and system. By carefully assessing security risks and planning deployments accordingly, you can preserve the attributes of quality, reliability, and security that you have come to expect from traditional phone networks.

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