Think Your Firewall is Enough to Secure Your UC Platform? Think Again

Think Your Firewall is Enough to Secure Your UC Platform? Think Again

Communication is an essential part of business. Over recent years, our ability to communicate in the workplace has increased significantly as unified communication (UC) solutions provide more comprehensive solutions that take advantage of a range of technology.


However, the rapid pace at which UC has advanced makes it challenging to ensure that the security measures in place are sufficient for the technology. In fact, attacks aimed at UC solutions are one of the fastest growing threat segments today. And companies that bring in solutions quickly without considering the security aspects may be vulnerable.


In many cases, organizations are relying on their firewalls to secure IP-based communications. While firewalls are strong solutions, especially for threat intelligence and deep packet inspection, they aren’t designed to provide the full complement of protection SIP services require. To make up for these shortcomings, you need to bring in session border controllers (SBCs).


Why You Need SBCs

As mentioned before, firewalls are critical security solutions, but they don’t offer protection against certain threats. Denial of service, data exfiltration, and toll fraud threats cannot be stopped with a firewall alone. Failing to add an SBC means your company’s communications are vulnerable.


Additionally, the way people communicate for work has changed significantly. Prior to UC, most businesses provided employees with a desk phone and access to email through their work computers. Now, mobility is the norm. More people are logging into communications systems from home and with their personal mobile devices. This expanded use makes the risk of attack greater, as UC-associated applications are in use on a larger scale.


An SBC is also simpler from a user perspective. While many organizations increase security when accessing these systems by requiring the use of VPN, this process is often cumbersome to use and manage. SBC provides an alternative that is especially beneficial on mobile devices, where dealing with a VPN token isn’t the easiest.


SBCs as a Robust Solution

Today’s SBCs are sophisticated solutions designed to secure UC systems. They can provide a SIP firewall and access controller authentication in a single package. You’ll also generally receive intrusion detection and prevention tools, allowing threats to be nullified from the beginning and giving you additional controls should an attack occur. UC proxy and policy enforcement functionality also provide you with additional control, making it easier to ensure that all users are accessing the system based on accepted company norms.


Overall, SBCs are simplified solutions, providing a lot of capability in a single system and ensuring your communications are secured. Since an SBC is also easier on users, it makes it simpler to get your employees on board with the security measure, as there isn’t a convoluted process for them to follow. It also gives you the opportunity to lower VPN costs, as fewer users may require the service once an SBC is in place.

Derek Roush

Derek Roush is the President and Founder of VocalPoint Consulting. He has over 15 years of experience in the industry supporting telecom and cloud service resellers. Since 2010, he has led VocalPoint Consulting to become one of the leading telecom and cloud service consulting firms in the industry.

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