Cisco has boosted the security on its VoIP phones and new security features for its IP Communications system (CallManager) that enhances voice privacy using encryption. The new Cisco CallManager 4.1 IP telephony system extends voice media and signaling encryption support for new 7940G and 7960G Cisco IP phones and over 2.5 million installed Cisco 7940G and 7960G IP phones. Media encryption helps to ensure the security and privacy of telephone conversations and signaling encryption protects against tampering with telephone signaling packets. Cisco CallManager 4.1 now also interoperates with a wide range of Cisco Media Gateways, including the Integrated Services Router line, to provide voice media and signaling encryption support.
"The addition of media encryption support for the Cisco 7960G and 7940G Cisco IP phones and media gateways will provide us with a high level of privacy assurance for our voice traffic and additional investment protection for the 3,000 plus Cisco IP phones we have deployed around the world," said Kevin Wetzel, director of Global Operation Services for H.B. Fuller Company, a global manufacturer and marketer of adhesives, sealants, coatings, paints and other specialty chemical products. H.B. Fuller, which switched from private branch exchange (PBX) equipment in 2002 to a Cisco IP Communications system, is currently planning to upgrade their offices in 20 countries to Cisco CallManager 4.1. The company will also be deploying CallManager 4.1 in an additional eight countries in 2005.
Media encryption support for Cisco Media Gateways complements the strong Voice over Virtual Private Network (V3PN) and threat defense security capabilities these platforms already offer. Media encryption on media gateways enhances voice privacy on Cisco IP phones in remote offices and provides more secure connectivity to legacy devices, including digital telephones and fax machines. In addition, Cisco is also announcing secure private messaging for Cisco Unity(TM) , an industry-first encrypted messaging feature that protects the contents of voice messages.
"These security enhancements to CallManager 4.1 embody Cisco's overall Self-Defending Network strategy, which calls for an integrated, systems approach to security," said Zeus Kerravala, vice president of enterprise infrastructure at The Yankee Group. "By adding media encryption to its 7960 and 7940 IP phones and media gateway products, Cisco demonstrates an insightful conclusion -- that the phone endpoint should mirror any highly secure web application. At the same time, Cisco customers gain increased security at more layers of an IP Communications system than those from any other vendor."
With new Q.SIG enhancements in CallManager 4.1, the Cisco IP Communications system offers an optimal migration path for customers that require interoperability with private branch exchange (PBX) systems. Q.SIG is the world wide signaling standard for PBX systems. Cisco CallManager 4.1 also features new, powerful call routing functionality and additional features that provide customers with significant cost control and call tracking benefits.
Cisco CallManager 4.1 software with a Cisco Media Convergence Server starts at $5,995 (USD). Cisco CallManager 4.1 software is now available as a no-cost upgrade for Cisco CallManager 4.0 customers. Media encryption software on Cisco Media Gateways is a standard option in the recently introduced Cisco Integrated Services Router. The new secure voice messaging feature in Cisco Unity 4.04 is a no-cost enhancement for Unity customers.