Networking Investigate

Are Voice VLANs Still Relevant for Unified Communications Security?

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Executive Summary

IP Telephony deployments have typically relied on Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) as a key pillar of their network infrastructure requirements. VLANs have been thought to have offered a number of key benefits to VoIP deployments, such as more robust deployment and increased security. However, new advances in Voice-over-IP (VoIP) and Unified Communications (UC), such as Microsoft's release of Office Communications Server 2007 R2, no longer stipulate VLANs as a requirement for network infrastructure. Additionally, new open-source tools have been developed that are capable of sniffing unencrypted Video and Audio traffic over VLANs and mounting Man-in-the-Middle security attacks on Unified Communications Media streams.

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