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Internet Phones Potential Security Risk

February 10, 2005  | 

Federal agencies and other organizations considering switching their telephone systems to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) should take precautions to help minimize security risks, says a recent report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

VOIP is an emerging technology that makes it possible to place telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of traditional circuit-based telephone lines. While the benefits could include lower cost and greater flexibility, switching to a new form of communication technology can be more complicated.

NIST recommendations to help in the transition to secure VOIP include: developing appropriate network architecture, include separate voice and data networks where feasible and practical; ensuring the organization can manage and mitigate risks to their information, system operations, and continuity of essential operations when deploying VOIP systems; using and routinely testing the security features included in VOIP systems; and updating VOIP software regularly and frequently.

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