Real Time Communications Featured Article

Securing All Aspects of Real-time Communications is Key to Success

January 16, 2015

The entire communications landscape is in a state of flux, and it’s an exciting time for businesses of all sizes. The cloud has made advanced real-time communications features like videoconferencing, presence and social media accessible and affordable for all types of businesses. Solutions are ripe for implementation, but organizations also need to be sensible and aware when it comes to securing this new breed of communications solutions.

Cost, ease of implementation, scalability and interoperability are all important factors companies need to be mindful of when researching new communications technologies. But security is an equally important factor and becomes paramount when dealing with real-time communications solutions that use the cloud. Companies need to ensure the proper barriers are in place as sensitive information flows from premises and end users in and out of the cloud, and there are a number of factors that should be considered.

BYOD has significantly changed the way organizations do business. And real-time communication technologies essentially port the functionality of business phone systems to end users’ personal devices, enabling anytime, anywhere business functionality. This also opens up your organization to security vulnerabilities, which is why a solid BYOD policy is absolutely critical. Trying to secure an entire fleet of personal devices is a monstrous and costly task. Most BYOD policies secure user access instead, carefully limiting which servers, applications and data specific users may access from their devices. Setting up a secure connection to sensitive corporate data based on specific users ensures your business interests are well protected.

No discussion of securing real-time communications would be complete without mentioning session border controllers (SBCs). These solutions act as a strong line of defense when it comes to VoIP, which is the de facto voice standard for most cloud-based communication solutions. SBCs offer a number of advantages in warding off malicious attacks, protecting and prioritizing voice traffic and generally managing IP traffic to ensure quality levels are clear and consistent.

Finally, one of the most important considerations you can make when implementing cloud-based real-time communications is your choice of service provider. It goes without saying that your relationship with your service provider is the key to safeguarding cloud solutions and you need to be assured that they are properly securing your data on their end. A good service provider will be happy to keep you informed of all the measures they are taking to protect your data and workloads and will also provide service level agreements (SLAs) to hold themselves to a high standard. These processes should be transparent and visible to you, the customer, so that you know exactly what is happening with your precious corporate assets at all times.

Real-time communications, and particularly cloud-based solutions, offer major benefits to businesses of all sizes. Ensuring that your communications are protected at all times is key to the success of these types of setups, and a good system of checks and balances that covers the entire communications process is integral to that success.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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