Voice of security

In a security-conscious world, a new generation of clever telephony applications is enough to convince federal agencies that IP telephony is ready for prime time.

"Security is a major issue in the federal government, and secure communications is the mantra," said Howard Stern, senior vice president for Federal Sources Inc., a consulting firm based in McLean, Va. "Lots of applications that, at face value, don't cause you to think about security are important within the realm of cyberterrorism. Before voice over IP is fully accepted within the federal government, its security implications will have to be worked out."

IP telephony vendors are starting to hear this message. For example, Avaya Inc. provides PBX-management software that includes encryption for voice traffic to ensure that hackers "can't steal a call," said Mack Leathurby, the company director of converged solutions marketing.

In addition, SecureLogix Corp. now sells a voice firewall that protects merged circuit-switched and IP telephony networks from modem-based break-ins and data thefts. According to the company, the technology also protects IP telephony networks from denial-of-service attacks.

About the Author

Alan Joch is a freelance writer based in New Hampshire.

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