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If Your Calls Go over VoIP, Will Someone Else be Listening?

Posted By Diane Giuffre
December 20, 2010

You've probably heard that many businesses are moving from traditional telephone services to voice over IP (VoIP) services in order to reduce costs and gain more efficient networks.

You may be considering this move for your business, but you hesitate because of nagging doubts about VoIP security. You wonder, "If our calls over the Internet, will somebody be able to eavesdrop or intercept them?"

Today's VoIP technology can relieve your doubts, even for calls that go over the Internet. However, differences in how a service provider transports VoIP calls—and the additional security measures implemented on the provider's network—are important to consider when evaluating a VoIP service.

To help you identify these differences, ask these questions:

  1. Does the service provider’s voice traffic traverse the Internet or is it carried only on the service provider's own private network until it reaches the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)?
  2. Does the service provider offer Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunks to securely transport voice and data traffic at your sites?
  3. Does the provider protect its network with advanced technologies such as Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and IPSec?

As you'll see, the right answers to these questions can give you peace of mind about moving your business calls to a VoIP service like MegaPath Integrated Voice.

Question 1: Private Network vs. the Internet

Some service providers route voice calls over the Internet, where packet sniffing and other techniques can allow call interception or eavesdropping. However, even in this scenario, interception of voice traffic from either the last mile or the Internet would require a compromise of the Internet provider and its hardware.

VoIP Diagram

As shown in the diagram below, MegaPath carries all voice traffic on our secure, private MPLS network until it reaches the PSTN. Our network design also isolates voice traffic from data traffic, ensuring that voice calls are never routed over the public Internet.

MegaPath Integrated Voice

Question 2: Efficient, Secure Networking with SIP Trunks

SIP trunks take advantage of your existing IP PBX to increase network efficiency by carrying voice and data traffic over a single connection to your site. With SIP trunks, a service provider can protect voice traffic by separating voice calls destined for the PSTN from Internet data traffic.

Question 3: Security in the Service Provider's Network

A service provider's network design and security measures can go a long way toward preserving the privacy of voice calls, especially with MPLS and IPSec technology.

The MegaPath network is based on MPLS to deliver secure connections for converged voice and data traffic. IPSec is the most widely used data encapsulation technology for transmitting encrypted data across any IP network, including the Internet. MegaPath uses IPSec to protect voice calls as they transit our network.

Additionally, the broadband access circuits from MegaPath prevent unauthorized access to the “Last Mile” connection at your sites. By managing the end-to-end connection between your site and the PSTN and the Internet, MegaPath can maintain high levels of security for all your network communications.

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