Cisco PBX adds encryption support for VoIP devices

Cisco Systems Inc. this week launched an upgrade to its CallManager IP PBX platform, broadening its encryption support for IP phones and other VoIP devices, such as VoIP gateways and voice-mail servers.

Version 4.1 of CallManager allows Cisco 7940G and 7960G IP phones to encrypt signaling and voice streams over an IP phone call. This can help organizations using VoIP to protect against IP phone eavesdropping or connection spoofing, the vendor says.

IP phone traffic encryption was first introduced to CallManager 4.0, which was released in February of this year. But the 4.1 software upgrade extends this encryption support across multiple Cisco VoIP products, such as voice gateways as well as the vendor’s Unity Unified Messaging voice-mail platform.

Call encryption on Cisco VoIP gateways allows users in remote offices to conduct secure IP phone calls, whereas VoIP encryption was limited to only LAN-based IP phone users in the past. On the Unity platform, encryption can also be added to voice messaging traffic. This encryption can be used to help prevent malicious users from stealing voice-mail files off of a corporate Unity server. It can also help prevent interception of voice-mail streams as users communicate with a Unity server via a Cisco IP phone.

Also added to CallManager 4.1 is expanded Q.SIG support. First introduced in version 4.0, Q.SIS support allows a Cisco IP PBX to communicate with a legacy PBX via the Q.SIG protocol — a standard for PBX interoperability. Enactments in the new Cisco software allow CallManagers to talk to a wider array of PBXs and translate more features between the platforms, the vendor says.

Cisco CallManager 4.1 is a free upgrade for customers with CallManager 4.0 licences.

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