Does your VoIP network have security risks and vulnerabilities?

Jan 19, 2017

2 minutes

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) attackers are insatiable, determined to make as much money as possible by enjoying calls on your dime. When it comes to voice over internet, the importance of a transport layer security (TLS) with secure real-time transport protocol (SRTP) deployment can’t be emphasized enough.

Not sure what all that means? Let’s break it down:

  1. TLS stands for “transport layer security.” It is built into web browsers and email clients to enable authentication and encryption when data is being sent across an unsecured network.
  2. SRTP stands for “secure real-time transport protocol.” RTP is a network protocol that delivers audio and video over IP networks. SRTP is simply the encryption of the RTP to secure it.

So, what does this all mean for you? It means comfort. Peace of mind. It means that every time you send an email, a video, or a voice message, you can rest assured it’s not being mined for data by hackers.

Technical merits of TLS and SRTP

When exchanging messages, TLS provides a more secure method for managing authentication by using features such as enhanced pseudorandom functions (PRF) and key-hashing message authentication codes (HMAC). Both methods ensure records cannot be altered during transmission over an open network.

In addition, TLS provides specific alerts when problems arise during a session, documenting each alert. It also allows for consistency by specifying the certificate type nodes must exchange.

SRTP ensures confidentiality for RTP through encryption, security for unicast and multicast RTP applications, and a framework that allows for the upgrade of new cryptographic algorithms.

The importance of a secure network

Unencrypted audio and data is the equivalent of leaving your wallet on a park bench. It’s possible it will still be there when you return, but it’s far more likely someone will take advantage of the situation if you let them.

Your VoIP network is like that wallet. Unsecured, hackers can get paid in big ways. By translating your audio into pages of HTML, hackers are able to steal a few snippets of private information, ensuring they’ll make money from your lack of security.

It’s imperative for SRTP to be used over and above TLS transport of the SIP leg. Otherwise, you’re encrypting audio with keys in plain text, the digital equivalent of leaving your wallet on a bench.

Given the complexity, technical specificity, and urgency of unified communications security, it’s crucial for an organization to invest wisely in the protection of current and future traffic.

About IntelePeer

Known as a proactive leader in the certification of TLS and SRTP, IntelePeer is one of the few cloud-based IP communications and SIP trunking companies that support TLS and SRTP.

Whether you’re deploying Cisco, Avaya, Mitel, ShoreTel, 3CX, Cisco, or Microsoft, IntelePeer can has the knowledge and experience to launch your secure VoIP/SIP deployments successfully.

Knowledge is power.

Subscribe to the IntelePeer newsletter and you’ll receive monthly educational content on how to streamline communications and operations with customer service automation.