Monday, August 15, 2011

Securing Unified Communications Systems, Shoretel Shows Nine Ways To Keep Rupert Murdoch Off Your UC Systems

Securing Unified Communications Systems
I am sure by now everyone have heard of the Murdoch's News of the World voicemail hacking scandal. If you have not find it on the Google and read it. Not for the gossip value of it but to learn how careless security handling of voicemail and phone handling by many. If you are wondering about the security of your own voicemails and phone calls, yes you probably should. Because voicemail hacking is possible with some technical skills and caller ID spoofing – especially if the user doesn’t take the most basic step of using a password to protect their voicemail account. We have been writing about VoIP Security as far as 2005, which included A VoIP Security attack Demo and about VoIP Security Alliance. If you have not read any of those or your password are like "12345678", start now and follow best practices to protect the privacy and security of their unified communications (UC) systems. Rupert Murdoch will not be happy but your users, partners will be.

Shoretel has put together nine step that you could take to secure your Unified Communications system(s) I have listed two them below and follow the link after the jump for the other seven;

  1. Enforce strong passwords.Don’t let employees use common passwords like “123456” or “iloveyou.” Many people choose simple passwords, despite the glaringly obvious risks. Make sure your organization follows best practices for choosing strong passwords: between 8-14 characters long with a combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers, and a special character. However, remember not to make the password requirement too burdensome, or they’ll just write it down on a sticky note and paste it to their screens.ShoreTel helps you lighten the load of enforcing passwords—which are required before using ShoreTel Communicator and voicemail. Both user and administrator passwords must be changed when a worker first logs into the ShoreTel system. Passwords must meet the requirements set by the system administrator. ShoreTel also integrates with Active Directory, which makes it easier for users to sign-on to multiple applications with a single password.

  1. Use firewalls to protect the corporate network.Protecting the UC system means first protecting the network with defenses including firewalls, intrusion prevention/detection (IDP), and in some instances session border controllers (SBCs). Firewalls prohibit unauthorized traffic from entering or leaving the network, which protects the organization from external attacks. IT can create rules to control what types of applications and traffic are allow to pass to the internal network. An IDP is another layer of protection, as it can block malicious traffic and help protect against denial-of-service attacks, worms and trojans. If you use an IPS, make sure it provides protection from application-level VoIP attacks.If your organization uses SIP trunks to connect to the wide-area network, then you should also use a SIP-capable firewall or an enterprise SBC. With a SIP-capable firewall or an SBC, IT can maintain control over what traffic can travel between the LAN and the outside world. ShoreTel resells InGate SIParator, so organizations can manage and control SIP traffic securely and establish policies for network access.



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