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Security: Enabling the Reliability of IP Telephony

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Voice communication is a critical business application. In the past, telephony benefited from a dedicated, highly reliable infrastructure. When migrating voice communications to IP, the prime concern is how reliable the service will be, both in terms of Quality of Service (QoS), for example SLA metrics, but also in terms of Quality of Experience (QoE) as perceived by users. Issues such as performance, availability and confidentiality that are often taken for granted in the conventional TDM PBX world need to be assessed in the converged IP environment.

The reliability of IP telephony - not only dropped calls, delay and audio quality but also service outage, downtime and availability is a factor of the network design architecture, expected traffic load and the many components of the IP infrastructure involved in delivering the service.

Security is one of these components, but is often perceived as simply a suite of threat mitigation features or systems against malicious attacks and mis-configurations. However, in a Telephony over IP (ToIP) context, security must play a broader role in enabling the reliability of IP Telephony.