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Patton Electronics: New SmartNode VoIP More Secure
[February 23, 2006]

Patton Electronics: New SmartNode VoIP More Secure


TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist

Patton Electronics is announcing new software for SmartNode VoIP products with new features, including encrypted voice with Voice-over-VPN and automatic IPSec keying with Internet Key Exchange.

The products are aimed at enterprises, banks, and other institutions using Internet telephony.

Voice-over-VPN, a virtual private network that uses the Internet, maintains privacy through the use of IPSec and DES/AES encryption. IPsec is the standard for securing communications over the Internet, while DES and AES offer strong 256-bit encryption.

SmartNode IPSec creates private VPN tunnels for secure VoIP, voice, and data traffic. The tunnels allow users, located in separate offices, to communicate as if they were connected by a single private network, company execs claim: "Now all data, voice and VoIP will be kept from prying eyes and ears while ensuring that all communications came from the trusted source."

It's kind of interesting to read company news from a year ago, like this from last August when Patton announced that Dynamic Network Services certified two lines of products developed by Patton, which meant the products played well with DynDNS's free and paid services.

VoIP was called "one of the fastest growing technologies being implemented by home and small business users," and the "limited availability (and resulting high cost) of static IP addresses," Patton officials said at the time, "often imposes a substantial barrier to the implementation of cost effective VoIP products."

Merging DynDNS' services with Patton's SmartNode technology, the company argued, "can effectively reduce costs to customers by reducing or eliminating the reliance on expensive H.323 gateways and complicated SIP servers as well as monthly service fee to third party VoIP services."

"Hardly a day goes by that we're not contacted by a customer looking to implement VoIP over a cable or DSL connection with a dynamic IP address", said Brad Goodwin at DynDNS last August. "Having an off the shelf solution that we can suggest to customers is a big plus."

Now, the IKE feature, an automatic security exchange function, is supposed to further enhance the security and ease-of-use for Voice-over-VPNs and data VPNs. By changing the encryption key at user-configurable intervals, say once per hour, IKE greatly reduces the chances of traffic interception.

In addition, IKE simplifies SmartNode deployment by eliminating manual keys, thereby making the encryption software easier to configure and administer. It's designed so a network administrator won't have to manually reconfigure SmartNode devices in order to maintain security.

The new SmartWare features are already deployed throughout a large VoIP network at IBM.

David Sims is contributing editor for TMCnet. For more articles please visit David Sims' columnist page.

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