Belkin switch secures audio ports
- By John Breeden II
- Oct 03, 2012
Often, keyboard video and mouse [KVM] switches are an overlooked part of a government security architecture – with the audio component sometimes completely left out of the equation. Agencies that need secure voice over IP communications can now centralize control over audio ports with a single switch.
The Belkin Secure Audio and Microphone Four-Port Switch has much of the same technology found in secure KVM switches, but for microphones and headsets. It works for voice over IP communications and supports both stereo audio and microphone analog signals. Users can switch between devices while sharing one set of headphones, speakers and a microphone.
The new switch features dedicated printed circuit boards for the audio and microphone signals. Keeping the audio signals physically separated from the microphone signals eliminates the possibility of leakage between signals on either side.
Unlike solid-state audio multiplexers, the Secure Audio and Microphone Switch relies on high-quality mechanical relays and does not have a memory buffer or the ability to store data. This prevents signals from being exploited or manipulated by malicious software as users switch between computers, ensuring the integrity of the signal.
There is also a mute button to completely shut off the microphone when it’s not in use. This mute function can’t be changed remotely, so no hacker can listen in on conversations.
“Agencies are increasingly replacing their aging and expensive, circuit-switched phone systems with communication solutions that run over IP networks to comply with recent light technology mandates and reduce operational costs,” said Luiz Artiz, Belkin’s director of product management. “Our Secure Audio and Microphone Switch works in conjunction with our Secure KVM [Keyboard Video Monitor] switch and relieves the fear of possible information leak while switching between networks of varying security levels.”
John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.