If You Have VoIP Network You Need Protection of Session Border Controller

1,144 Views Updated: 19 Jan 2018
Follow Post
If You Have VoIP Network You Need Protection of Session Border Controller

The vulnerabilities of the internet are all too well known. If someone comes up with a block, smart hackers come up with a way to overcome it and tunnel into networks.

IT security is important at all times for all businesses. 

One may assume that the firewall is sufficient but it gives a false sense of security, especially in VoIP channels. VoIP operates over the internet and it is vulnerable to malicious attacks. One needs more than just a simple firewall for the security of calls and protection of network against malicious attacks like DOS and DDOS. This type of attack can affect call quality. That is just one thing that a compromised VoIP network can suffer from. Fraudsters can break in and use the VoIP network to make their calls and businesses end up bearing the cost. Unencrypted calls can be listened to and confidentiality is at stake. A smart hacker can get to know topology and route. Fireworks cannot address these issues. SBC or Session Border Controller can. It is indispensable for VoIP networks and for VoIP service providers who may think that a class 4/5 switch is all it takes. 

The SBC solution can be hardware based or software based on the latter being preferable because of low cost as well as the facility to upgrade and ease of configuration. This is all that a well configured and developed session border controller can achieve. 

SBC was meant to handle deficiencies in SIP protocols but it has evolved over time with one of its functions being to allow NAT traversals, which, in plain language means permitting media session initiation when placed behind Network Address translators or NATs. SIP phones support NAT protocols like ICE and TURN or UPnP in which instances the SBC functions as a public interface and replaces user private IP address with its own header thereby adding to security. 

SBC has another important function in that it overcomes compatibility issues by removing or adding headers, modifying extensions and adapting call flows to adapt to sending and receiving networks. In short, SBC is a universal translator between different protocols. Media transcoding is an important function to allow seamless communication regardless of codecs used in originating or terminating points. 

Security is a prime consideration and the SBC solution works as the finest watchdog in VoIP operations. It can put a limit on traffic to guard against overloads or attacks while maintaining dynamic blacklists of agents that did not meet specified criteria. SBCs can also carry out deep packet inspection as well as maintain lists of SIP viruses. Calls from registered users, however, receive priority. At the same time, the SBC will monitor call usage and prevent fraud calls. 

The position of SBC in any network matters a lot. SBC can be placed in different locations, generally, SBCs are located at the border, between a provider and the customer. You can put it at the network-to-network interface or in a network that offers VPN connection. When considering the private network, then SBC can support low-bandwidth sites and high bandwidth sites equally. This ensures that network won’t get overwhelmed by the VoIP traffic. SBC also checks the quality of service for each session individually, just to make sure that VoIP sessions are free from jitter or time lag. The use of a well crafted SBC solution also results in improved call quality, bandwidth management and allocation of resources leading to efficiency and cost reduction. 

Asterisk SBC development factors in virtually all kinds of usage scenarios and network problems to allow maximum features while the SBC works silently in the background. The comprehensive solution has inherent security, policy rules to prevent unauthorized access, call routing, SIP conversions, DTMF detection and generation and scalability. The last is important for VoIP service providers whose services may increase over time and the SBC must keep in step with increased volumes. 

The SBC solution from Asterisk Service sits right over the Softswitch and works as a two-way gatekeeper. This deployment can be cloud hosted or virtual SBC with inherent benefits of SBC plus the absence of maintenance which is taken care of by the provider. 

VoIP service providers can do without SBC but it is recommended that the risks far outweigh the benefits of saving money. SBC not only provides total security to VoIP traffic but it also enhances the quality of calls that translates to greater customer satisfaction. The importance of security can never be underestimated and Asterisk SBC is highly secure but of equal importance are the other facilities such as media transcoding and call prioritization. The software SBC can be deployed for a provider who offers VPN services. It can function as a watchdog between provider and customer while seamlessly handling all topology and media protocol as well as codec issues. Two providers can have individual SBCs and enhance their billing and statistical segments. 

Posted by: hodusoft Posts: (1) Opinions: (0) Points: 20 Rank: 1,405

Businesses connecting their infrastructure to a SIP Trunk, or VoIP Connection, require a Session Border Controllers (SBC) for security, interoperability and transcoding. Often times, businesses will forget the importance of an SBC when switching from their legacy phone system to VoIP and simply use their existing firewall for protection, and make a huge mistake! A typical firewall can only protect your data network and as soon as you as you open it up to the internet, which is how you connect to VoIP services, the entire network is exposed. The other pitfall of using your existing firewall, instead of an SBC, is that phone calls may not connect or there will be audio issues. An SBC will automatically do the call translations for you, with the built-in interoperability features and also translate the audio with built-in transcoding capabilities.

Related polls