From the Security Experts

December 10, 2009

SIP Applications are Secure: Ingate

By SIP Trunking Report Web Editor

Thanks to the growing interest in the technology, Session Initiation Protocol – better known as SIP- trunking adoption is on the rise. But some companies that are deploying the language used by companies to develop VoIP-based products and applications have security concerns.

While the concerns are legitimate, Steven Johnson, president of Ingate Systems, a SIP-based security solutions provider, said with the right measures, SIP applications can offer the security businesses, including large-scale enterprise needs.
“Like any application, Voice over IP and all similar applications should be implemented in a way that ensures the continued security and integrity of the enterprise network,” Johnson told TMC's Erik Linask during a recent video interview. “With the proper protections in place, SIP applications are very secure. In fact, VoIP calls can be more secure than those made on the PSTN.”
Johnson took part in a video series called “The Ingate Knowledge Base,” in which he talks about SIP trunking, security and other issues. The discussion is based on the Knowledge Base e-mail newsletter from Ingate Systems.
While SIP is a relatively new protocol for VoIP development, there have been a few malicious SIP attacks. But as the technology’s popularity increases, so will the possibility for security issues, he said. But companies can take steps to prevent problems.
For example, Johnson said the IP-PBX, which controls VoIP phones and SIP applications, should be deemed a “mission critical” server. So any service outage or degradation would cause a loss of communication and business revenue. Johnson said the IP-PBX should be protected from the Internet and any unknown networks just like any other mission critical server. He recommended that the PBX should not be assigned a publicly routable IP address.
What’s more, companies should deploy deep packet inspection, DoS attack detection, as well as other measure to protect the SIP traffic and network.
“Ingate employs all of these and more,” Johnson said. “With an E-SBC in place, like the SIParator from Ingate Systems, SIP communications can be successfully and securely introduced to the network and the enterprise remains in full control of the network.”
To hear the video interview in full, click here.
To find out more about Steven Johnson and Ingate Systems, visit the company at ITEXPO East 2010. Scheduled for Jan. 20 to 22 in Miami, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Johnson will speak at “SIP Trunking - Issues, Opportunities, and Solutions” at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 22. Don’t wait. Register now.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney