Real Time Communications Featured Article

Are Your Real-Time Communications Secure?

December 08, 2014

The focus on real-time communications continues to grow as companies seek a competitive advantage in intense markets. In a quest to continue to evolve along with the demanded capabilities, companies may be putting themselves at risk with vulnerabilities in their connections.

End-to-end security is essential in communications and without it, companies are increasingly vulnerable to attacks. Now that communications are increasingly traversing the corporate network, hackers have increased opportunity to find a weak point and gain access. These vulnerabilities are enhanced when real-time communications are the focus.

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences studied the vulnerabilities presented by video and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communications. By developing situations where hackers could gain access, the team identified vulnerabilities so that alternatives could be suggested for companies to shield themselves against attacks.

Nitesh Saxena, Ph.D., associate professor of CIS, a member of the Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research (CIA|JFR), and the director of the UAB Security and Privacy in Emerging computing and networking Systems (SPIES) research group, shared in a UAB report that the popularity of computing devices using VoIP connections is driving the need for this work. Companies must secure their networks to prevent eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks.

“We believe our findings from this project will make strong impacts — not only on networking security, but also on human-computer interaction and real-world usability,” said Maliheh Shirvanian, the Ph.D. student who led the project, in the UAB report. “The results bring to light the threats of conceived voice privacy, and should serve as notice to users to pay careful attention to the potential security weaknesses in the future.”

The research team focused on creating simulated attacks and then testing current and proposed technologies to thwart the attacks. As a result of their work, they recommend the use of automated voice recognition or a voice biometrics system within company networks. The challenge with this, however, is that not all calls are planned or can be executed through set protocols. Therefore, added technologies, such as Session Border Controllers (SBC) are needed.

To expand on this concept, GENBAND is offering a free webinar, The Enterprise SBC In Practice: Hear How Your Peers are Making the Most of the Technology! on Tue, Dec 9, 2014 11:00 AM CST. Those in attendance will learn how to capture the cost benefits of SIP trunking, mobility and unified communications while also securing all interactions.

If real-time communications are a priority in your VoIP environment, this is one webinar you don’t want to miss.


Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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