NIST offers some cautions on using VOIP

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has some cautionary advice for offices considering moving their telephone systems to voice over IP.

'VOIP introduces both security risks and opportunities,' NIST said in a recently released report. Complications introduced by VOIP include the need for quality of service so that voice calls sound acceptable. Common network security components such as firewalls can degrade voice quality and interfere with call setup.

Making sure networking equipment and security tools are compatible with VOIP protocols is also a challenge. There are emerging standards for session initiation, but no standard has become dominant and proprietary protocols still are being used.

'VOIP is still an emerging technology, so it is difficult to develop a complete picture of what a mature worldwide VOIP network will one day look like,' NIST said.

To read the report, go to and enter 355 in the

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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