Deploy VoIP With Care - Feds Warn Before You Get Sued - Get TECH-smart

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NIST issues warning report on VoIP, does analysis and makes recommendations.

A 99-page report released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology Report 800-58 cautions that IT managers need to pay close attention to the network security issues raised by VoIP installations. Before you install, assist, guide, design, plan or support a VoIP network, get the TECHtionary analysis of these critical issues.

NIST-National Institute of Standards and Technology recommendations for VoIP are:

1.     Develop appropriate network architecture

2.     Ensure that the organization has examined and can acceptably manage and mitigate the risks to their information, systems operations and continuity of essential operations when deploying VoIP systems.

3.     Special consideration should be given to E-911 emergency services communications because E-911 automatic location service is not available with VoIP in some cases.

4.     Agencies should be aware that physical controls are especially important in a VoIP environment and deploy them accordingly.

5.     Evaluate costs for additional power backup systems that may be required to ensure continued operation during power outages.

6.     VoIP firewall-ready and other appropriate protection mechanisms should be employed. Agencies must enable, use and routinely test the security features that are included in VoIP systems.

7.     If practical, "softphone" systems, which implement VoIP using an ordinarily PC with a handset and special software, should not be used where privacy or security are a concern.

8.     If mobile units are to be integrated with the VoIP system, use products implementing WPA-WiFi Protected Access rather than WEP-WiFi Equivalent Privacy.

9.     Carefully review statutory requirements regarding privacy and record retention with competent legal advisors.

And, we recommend also that you

10. Perform a comprehensive network assessment prior to purchase or implementation of any VoIP to determine network capabilities ("will it really work under stress") as well as all of the above issues.

An indepth analysis of these issues is presented at

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Tom Cross