Friday, September 09, 2005

VOIP driving security market

Because of VoIP, firewalls may never be the same. New research shows that organizations underestimate the demands that enterprise VoIP security places on existing firewalls, and that those demands are altering the landscape of the firewall market.

The new findings show that the security appliance market is poised for strong growth over the next few years because businesses that have deployed Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) are facing difficult security challenges and 75% of them are planning to replace their current security systems within the next year.

Traditional firewall and security technologies can complicate several aspects of VoIP, most notably dynamic port trafficking, Network Address Translation (NAT) transversal, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and H.323. Most organizations often aren't concerned about whether their firewalls can handle VoIP traffic until after their VoIP implementations are completed or well under way. Security product vendors are only now adding functions that address voice applications in their products.

Companies commonly begin VoIP implementations with limited internal trials and they often fail to realize the breadth of the security implications that come with securely transmitting voice packets beyond the network perimeter, like the need to prevent call recording, denial-of-service attacks and other threats without degrading call quality. Or those that do falsely believe existing firewalls are capable of handing VoIP security and lack information to the contrary until they get hands-on experience.

These new findings were published by In-Stat, a high-tech market research firm, in its latest report dealing with the impact of VoIP on security appliances.

Key findings of the report include:
  • Larger, mid-sized companies (500-999) show a higher percentage of concerns about VoIP security than companies of other sizes.
  • Budgets allocated for new security appliances are significantly higher in companies that have already implemented VoIP.
  • Reliability is by far the most important criteria for the purchase of new security appliance products by businesses
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