While internet telephony has revolutionized the communication industry, it also poses some risks associated with the way it works. IP telephony, as the name suggests, is based on the fundamentals of IP routing. Unlike dedicated telecom networks where tapping was required to tap the line, IP telephone communication can be easily tapped without much efforts using simple protocol analyzer software and configuring the network interface cards into stealth mode.
Therefore, calls transmitted via a LAN, WAN or the Internet is easy to be intercept and does not even require great skills. When successfully intercepted, a network protocol analyzer will itself be quite self-explanatory. Therefore, one of the biggest challenges and concerns faced by VoIP users is securing their calls.
The only best way to secure a voice connection is encrypt because VoIP traffic is transmitted using data network. Following are four different VoIP encryption approaches that can be of great help in securing VoIP calls.
- Internal Encryption: Installing and configuring encryption with the VoIP clients at both the end-points of communication. Skype Ltd, for example, has installed and configured encryption support into its proprietary software.
- Securing Transport Layer: Transport Layer Security (TLS) and IP Security (IPSec) are the standard means to secure data exchanges between applications and devices respectively. Thus, TLS and IPSec can be easily deployed to encrypt and secure VoIP calls. In addition, both protocols have methods to keep authenticating and authorizing parties secure.
- SRTP (Secure Real-Time Transfer Protocol): SRTP secured IP calls while at the same time without compromising call quality. A unique encryption key is generated for each call to make sniffing extremely difficult.
- VPN (Virtual Private Network): VPN at network level can leverage its built-in encryption feature to protect all users IP telephony calls.
Thus, securing VOIP calls is not a very tough job in itself given that you are willing to do so.