• United States
by Steve Taylor and Larry Hettick

How do you protect an IP PBX?

Dec 03, 20032 mins

* Looking for protection for the new breed of PBXs

Last time, we looked at the problems associated with troubleshooting a visual voicemail application on a unified communications portal. Today, we’d like to add some fuel to the fire and talk more about the lack of proper converged management and security tools available.

We believe the day is soon approaching when your brand-new PBX will be delivered in an envelope – on a CD – and you’ll simply install the software on a server to enable all your PBX features. User connectivity to the PBX will be provided through a combination of wireless devices, Ethernet connections, and a local gateway to connect to remaining analog phones and PSTN trunks.

Now for the million-dollar question: Who’s going to provide the anti-virus software to stop hackers from attacking the PBX? The last time we checked, security updates for PBX software weren’t available on the McAfee Security Center menu (although the server operating system is afforded some level of protection by McAfee).

After all, the PBX is a network device. Or is it really?

What happens once we begin to integrate applications such as the Microsoft Office suite, SAP, Siebel CRM or PeopleSoft – making those applications available to the unified communications portal?

Here’s our point. The “Industry” is moving to put traditional network functions such as routing and switching into applications-looking software. And traditional data applications suppliers are putting more network functionality like click-to-call and click-to-collaborate inside the data application. Therefore the “Industry” is obliged to provide users and IT managers alike with the proper tools to manage and secure the newly converged features.

Does anybody in the “Industry” want to step up to the task?