As VoIP becomes more commonplace in the enterprise, encryption and security are becoming more paramount, especially in the financial sector. Imagine for a moment working for a stock exchange company and you could install a network sniffer program that captures VoIP RTP streams. Knowing the IP address of a particular IP phone, you can filter the traffic and tap into someone's VoIP conversation.
Well, two French companies, Thales (TCFP.PA) and Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA) announced a technological partnership to develop highly secure IP telephony solutions based on the Alcatel OmniPCX Enterprise IP communication server.
Under this new agreement, Thales will provide encryption modules that will be integrated with the Alcatel OmniPCX Enterprise to respond to the demand for increased security of IP telephony from large enterprises in sectors of business that are looking to protect themselves against the loss of sensitive and confidential information. Early adopters include financial services companies, high-level administrations or selected industrial companies with a need for secure communications.
From their announcement, they state:
The evolution towards IP telephony is generating new security challenges for today’s enterprises. To be protected, enterprises must secure not only the communications infrastructure but also the transmitted information of unications infrastructure at every point of access. To face this new challenge, Alcatel and Thales are combining their expertise to guarantee that Alcatel IP communication solutions ensure high levels of security for enterprises.
“Thanks to the encryption solution developed with Thales, our IP telephony solutions can offer a higher level of security than traditional telephony for those customers that need it to protect their business,” says Jean-Christophe Giroux, President of Alcatel's enterprise solutions activities.
“Thales is leader in security technology that protects LANs and WANs from tampering. We are proud to be part of this partnership with Alcatel, providing our technology and expertise in security to the fast growing enterprise telephony market, which is migrating to IP. Our solution will provide the optimal balance between security and serviceability that today’s enterprise customers are demanding,” says Sylvie Ghez, Director for Information Systems Security, Thales.
A hardware encryption solution based on Thales field proven Mistral technology will be integrated into the Alcatel solution, enabling wirespeed hardware encryption that ensures security and system robustness without affecting the quality of service for communications. Additionally, the solution is protected against encryption deactivation (whether fortuitous or deliberate). Finally, keys auto-generation at all IP endpoints guarantees best of breed authentication and call control integrity, while avoiding the typical complexity linked to certificates management.
Finally, the first products to be developed by this partnership will be available in 2005.