A Strategy for Enterprise VoIP Security

A Strategy for Enterprise VoIP Security

Dwayne Stevens (Community Trust Bank, USA) and David T. Green (Governors State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-855-0.ch041
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Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks signal an evolution in telecommunications that is accelerating the convergence of the Internet and the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Offering decreased costs and other benefits, VoIP is poised to transform telecommunications and the organizations that use them. However, some consider VoIP a security nightmare, combining the worst vulnerabilities of IP networks and voice networks. DOS attacks, crash attacks, packet spoofing, buffer overflow attacks, spam over Internet telephony (SPIT), and word injection all pose threats to commercial enterprise networks and the mission critical operations that they support.
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Traditional telecommunications carriers are now facing the very real prospect that the “large networks they’ve been meticulously building for more than 100 years will be, if not entirely useless, certainly unsustainable in the very near future.” Already reeling from the “fixed-to-mobile substitution” brought about by migration of landline traffic to the cellular platform, Local Exchange Carriers (LECs) are now facing competition with VoIP (Conti, 2004).

This chapter will seek to first provide an analysis of the benefits of VoIP, and then will discuss the three current prominent models of VoIP that are being utilized. The chapter will then briefly look at how educational institutions are using VoIP and examine the implementation and security concerns of VoIP. Finally, the chapter will then address Quality of Service concerns, and list strategies for security assurance and disaster recovery planning in relation to VoIP.


VoIP is revolutionizing telecommunications in large part because IP telephony is based upon standards which are vendor agnostic, ensuring interoperability between products from different manufacturers in almost any combination (Ross, 2004). Many of the companies who have adopted VoIP have been very pleased with the results in this technology which “crosses the boundaries of public and private networks, enterprise and residential markets, voice and data technologies, as well as local and long-distance services.” By converging voice and data into a single, powerful network, an organization can “reduce costs, consolidate and simplify networks, as well as better serve its customers and constituents” (Young, 2005).

In a recent product spotlight in IEEE Review, relatively low-cost items like the Firebox VoIP Cyberphone were featured, which allow users to make low-cost calls to landlines and mobile phones all over the world and free calls to anyone using a similar VoIP phone (Calls over the Net, 2005). It is technology such as this which has in part fueled the flurry of corporate adopters. In excess of nine million North American corporate telephone lines ran on VoIP in 2004, a full 11 percent of the total. That number was up from 4 percent from 2002, according to Gartner Inc., and is expected to reach 41 percent by 2008 (Fahmy, 2005).

VoIP installations achieve cost savings from a variety of sources. Obviously, running voice and data on the same network reduces the hardware, maintenance, and service needed. A great example of the financial benefits of VoIP is illustrated by the recent adoption of VoIP by the accounting firm Grant Thornton, LLP. The firm used to spend more than $800,000 a year on long-distance calls made from its 49 U.S. offices. VoIP installations cut that spending by more than 60 percent. In addition, local phone charges fell by 40 percent (Fahmy, 2005).

Several other factors also influence the adoption of VoIP technology, including improved network utilization, opportunities for value-added services, and progressive deployment. Traditional circuit-switched networks have to “dedicate a full-duplex 64 kb/s channel for the duration of a single call, whereas with VoIP networks the bandwidth is used only when something has to be transmitted,” utilizing network resources more effectively and allowing more calls to be carried over a single link. In addition, VoIP offers many other advanced features such as caller ID and call forwarding that can be added as value-added services to VoIP networks at minimal cost. Finally, IP telephony is “additive to today’s communications networks since it can be easily integrated with existing PSTN infrastructure and networks” (Zeadally, 2004). However, there are other, less obvious benefits that corporate users are discovering that merit mention:

  • VoIP reduces the cost of reconfiguring the network every time an employee switches office or cubicles.

  • VoIP allows users to easily self-administer their call forwarding, helping to route calls to either voice mail or external lines depending upon the caller.

  • Using a popular feature called unified messaging, employees can check messages left at different numbers on one centralized platform (Fahmy, 2005).

  • Businesses can amortize their VoIP equipment in as few as three months (Ross, 2004).

Telecommunication service providers are in the midst of developing converged core networks for both data and voice to support this evolution. There are also economic incentives, improved productivity, and new revenue-generating services that come along with these new networks (Prabhakar, 2005).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Disaster Recovery: The process of regaining access to data, hardware, or software after a computer based human or natural disaster.

Local Exchange Carrier (LEC): A regulatory term in telecommunications for the local telephone company.

Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS): A data-carrying mechanism which emulates some properties of a circuit-switched network over a packet-switched network.

Quality of Service (QoS): A set of quality requirements on the collective behavior of one or more objects in the field of telephony.

Voice Over IP (VoIP): The routing of voice conversations over an Internet Protocol-based network.

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN): The network of the world’s public circuit-switched telephone networks.

Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS): The voice-grade telephone service that remains the basic form of residential and small business service connection to the telephone network in most parts of the world.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Jatinder N. D. Gupta, Sushil Sharma
Jatinder N. D. Gupta, Sushil Sharma
Chapter 1
Xin Luo, Qinyu Liao
In computer virology, advanced encryption algorithms, on the bright side, can be utilized to effectively protect valuable information assets of... Sample PDF
Ransomware: A New Cyber Hijacking Threat to Enterprises
Chapter 2
Joon S. Park
E-commerce has grown immensely with the increase in activity on the Internet, and this increase in activity, while immeasurable, has also presented... Sample PDF
E-Commerce: The Benefits, Security Risks, and Countermeasures
Chapter 3
Pamela Ajoku
Even though weapons and money are considered important factors for running a modern world, at the end of the day, it is all about controlling and... Sample PDF
Information Warfare: Survival of the Fittest
Chapter 4
Gaeil An, Joon S. Park
In this chapter, we discuss the evolution of the enterprise security federation, including why the framework should be evolved and how it has been... Sample PDF
Evolution of Enterprise Security Federation
Chapter 5
Roy Ng
The hypergrowth of computing and communications technologies increases security vulnerabilities to organizations. The lack of resources training... Sample PDF
A Holistic Approach to Information Security Assurance and Risk Management in an Enterprise
Chapter 6
John D’Arcy, Anat Hovav
A number of academic studies that focus on various aspects of information security management (ISM) have emerged in recent years. This body of work... Sample PDF
An Integrative Framework for the Study of Information Security Management Research
Chapter 7
Aditya Ponnam
Organizations worldwide recognize the importance of a comprehensive, continuously evolving risk assessment process, built around a solid risk... Sample PDF
Information Systems Risk Management: An Audit and Control Approach
Chapter 8
Udaya Kiran Tupakula
In this chapter we discuss Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in networks such as the Internet, which have become significantly prevalent... Sample PDF
Distributed Denial of Service Attacks in Networks
Chapter 9
Andy Luse
This chapter describes various firewall conventions, and how these technologies operate when deployed on a corporate network. Terms associated with... Sample PDF
Firewalls as Continuing Solutions for Network Security
Chapter 10
Jamie Twycross
The immune system provides a rich metaphor for computer security: anomaly detection that works in nature should work for machines. However, early... Sample PDF
An Immune-Inspired Approach to Anomaly Detection
Chapter 11
Wasim A. Al-Hamdani
This chapter introduces cryptography from information security phase rather than from deep mathematical and theoretical aspects, along with... Sample PDF
Cryptography for Information Security
Chapter 12
Carlo Belletini
The chapter introduces and describes representative defense mechanisms to protect from both basic and advanced exploitation of low-level coding... Sample PDF
Memory Corruption Attacks, Defenses, and Evasions
Chapter 13
Dalila Boughaci, Brahim Oubeka, Abdelkader Aissioui, Habiba Drias, Belaïd Benhamou
This chapter presents the design and the implementation of a decentralized firewall. The latter uses autonomous agents to coordinately control the... Sample PDF
Design and Implementation of a Distributed Firewall
Chapter 14
Tom Coffey
This chapter concerns the correct and reliable design of modern security protocols. It discusses the importance of formal verification of security... Sample PDF
A Formal Verification Centred Development Process for Security Protocols
Chapter 15
Ahsan Habib
This chapter develops a distributed monitoring scheme that uses edge-to-edge measurements to identify congested links and capture the misbehaving... Sample PDF
Edge-to-Edge Network Monitoring to Detect Service Violations and DoS Attacks
Chapter 16
Doug White, Alan Rea
Hard disk wipes are a crucial component of computing security. However, more often than not, hard drives are not adequately processed before either... Sample PDF
A "One-Pass" Methodology for Sensitive Data Disk Wipes
Chapter 17
Lijun Liao
This chapter deals with the issues concerning e-mail communication security. We analyze the most popular security mechanisms and standards related... Sample PDF
Securing E-Mail Communication with XML Technology
Chapter 18
Li Yang, Raimund K. Ege, Lin Luo
This chapter describes our approach to handle security in a complex Distributed Virtual Environment (DVE). The modules of such an environment all... Sample PDF
Aspect-Oriented Analysis of Security in Distributed Virtual Environment
Chapter 19
Information Availability  (pages 230-239)
Deepak Khazanchi
This chapter describes the concept of information availability (IAV) which is considered an important element of information security. IAV is... Sample PDF
Information Availability
Chapter 20
Siraj Ahmed Shaikh
The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the reader to the research area of formal analysis of authentication protocols. It briefly introduces... Sample PDF
Formal Analysis and Design of Authentication Protocols
Chapter 21
Rajeev R. Raje, Alex Crespi, Omkar J. Tilak, Andrew M. Olson
Component-based software development offers a promising technique for creating distributed systems. It does require a framework for specifying... Sample PDF
Access Control Frameworks for a Distributed System
Chapter 22
Manish Gupta, JinKyu Lee, H. R. Rao
The Internet has emerged as the dominant medium in enabling banking transactions. Adoption of e-banking has witnessed an unprecedented increase over... Sample PDF
Implications of FFIEC Guidance on Authentication in Electronic Banking
Chapter 23
Sue Conger
Historically, companies have automated a security model that analogizes the concept of a “guardian” who monitors incoming and outgoing activities... Sample PDF
Disruptive Technology Impacts on Security
Chapter 24
Sushma Mishra
Internal auditing has become increasingly important in current business environments. In this era of the Sarbanes- Oxley Act and other similar... Sample PDF
Internal Auditing for Information Assurance
Chapter 25
William H. Friedman
This chapter is management oriented. It first proposes a general theoretical context for IT disasters within the wider class of all types of... Sample PDF
IT Continuity in the Face of Mishaps
Chapter 26
Yvette Ghormley
This chapter describes the tools that businesses can use to create a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan. Utilizing business modeling... Sample PDF
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans
Chapter 27
Yvette Ghormley
The number and severity of attacks on computer and information systems in the last two decades has steadily risen and mandates the use of security... Sample PDF
Security Policies and Procedures
Chapter 28
Arjmand Samuel
This chapter outlines the overall access control policy engineering framework in general and discusses the subject of validation of access control... Sample PDF
Enterprise Access Control Policy Engineering Framework
Chapter 29
Sushil K. Sharma, Jatinder N.D. Gupta
The purpose of the information security policy is to establish an organization-wide approach to prescribe mechanisms that help identify and prevent... Sample PDF
Information Security Policies: Precepts and Practices
Chapter 30
Paul D. Witman
This chapter provides a set of guidelines to assist information assurance and security researchers in creating, negotiating, and reviewing... Sample PDF
A Guide to Non-Disclosure Agreements for Researchers
Chapter 31
Omkar J. Tilak
Software realization of a large-scale Distributed Computing System (DCS) is achieved through the Componentbased Software Development (CBSD)... Sample PDF
Assurance for Temporal Compatibility Using Contracts
Chapter 32
Arjan Durresi
The latest estimates suggest that there are over two billion cell phone users worldwide. The massive worldwide usage has prompted technological... Sample PDF
Spatial Authentication Using Cell Phones
Chapter 33
Sushil K. Sharma, Jatinder N.D. Gupta, Ajay K. Gupta
The ability to perform E-Commerce over the Internet has become the driver of the new digital economy. As it has opened up opportunities for... Sample PDF
Plugging Security Holes in Online Environment
Chapter 34
Erik Graham, Paul John Steinbart
This chapter presents a step-by-step approach to improving the security of wireless networks. It describes the basic threats to achieving the... Sample PDF
Six Keys to Improving Wireless Security
Chapter 35
Robert W. Proctor, E. Eugene Schultz, Kim-Phuong L. Vu
Many measures that enhance information security and privacy exist. Because these measures involve humans in various ways, their effectiveness... Sample PDF
Human Factors in Information Security and Privacy
Chapter 36
Wm. Arthur Conklin
Software defects lead to security vulnerabilities, which cost businesses millions of dollars each year and threaten the security of both individuals... Sample PDF
Threat Modeling and Secure Software Engineering Process
Chapter 37
Christopher M. Botelho, Joseph A. Cazier
The threat of social engineering attacks is prevalent in today’s society. Even with the pervasiveness of mass media’s coverage of hackers and... Sample PDF
Guarding Corporate Data from Social Engineering Attacks
Chapter 38
Tom Clark
Data storage is playing an increasingly visible role in securing application data in the data center. Today virtually all large enterprises and... Sample PDF
Data Security for Storage Area Networks
Chapter 39
Edgar Weippl
This chapter outlines advanced options for security training. It builds on previous publications (Weippl 2005, 2006) and expands them by including... Sample PDF
Security Awareness: Virtual Environments and E-Learning
Chapter 40
Manish Gupta
Enterprises are increasingly interested in new and cost effective technologies to leverage existing investments in IT and extend capabilities to... Sample PDF
Security-Efficient Identity Management Using Service Provisioning (Markup Language)
Chapter 41
Dwayne Stevens, David T. Green
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks signal an evolution in telecommunications that is accelerating the convergence of the Internet and the... Sample PDF
A Strategy for Enterprise VoIP Security
Chapter 42
Jose M. Torres
This chapter presents an Information Systems Security Management Framework (ISSMF) which encapsulates eleven Critical Success Factors (CSFs) along... Sample PDF
Critical Success Factors and Indicators to Improve Information Systems Security Management Actions
Chapter 43
Rebecca H. Rutherfoord
This chapter will deal with issues of privacy, societal, and ethical concerns in enterprise security. Security for a company is defined as... Sample PDF
Privacy, Societal, and Ethical Concerns in Security
Chapter 44
Rodolfo Villarroel, Eduardo Fernández-Medina, Juan Trujillo, Mario Piattini
This chapter presents an approach for designing secure Data Warehouses (DWs) that accomplish the conceptual modeling of secure DWs independently... Sample PDF
An MDA Compliant Approach for Designing Secure Data Warehouses
Chapter 45
Hai Wang
This chapter introduces the survivability evaluation, especially on the corresponding evaluation criteria and modeling techniques. The content of... Sample PDF
Survivability Evaluation Modeling Techniques and Measures
Chapter 46
Art Taylor
With the rise of the Internet, computer systems appear to be more vulnerable than ever from security attacks. Much attention has been focused on the... Sample PDF
The Last Line of Defense: A Comparison of Windows and Linux Authentication and Authorization Features
Chapter 47
M. Pradhan
Information Technology can be used at all levels to counter attack bioterrorism. This article gives an overview of use of Information Technology for... Sample PDF
Bioterrorism and Biosecurity
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