Expert Answer

How can communications bypass VPNs by using a session border controller?

How can communications bypass VPNs by using a session border controller? Would mobile users be secure in all communications or would they have to open a VPN for some other type of work function?

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Depending on the capabilities of the particular unified communications (UC) platform and enterprise session border controller (E-SBC) vendor, mobile devices can be configured to connect specifically  to a UC platform through the SBC interface, rather than first opening a VPN tunnel.

Much like the SIP trunks available from service providers, an E-SBC can manage a secure communication session with remote mobile devices. The advantage of a VPN-less connection for mobile devices lies in the fact that E-SBCs are designed to support the bandwidth-sensitive nature of voice and video traffic, unlike traditional VPNs. By connecting through an E-SBC deployed at the enterprise network edge, mobile applications can avoid the overhead created by the VPN tunnel while still maintaining security and quality of service.

The ability to bypass VPNs, however, is limited specifically to the remote UC applications. Any other mobile apps will still need the VPN tunnel to connect to corporate resources.

For more information on SBCs and bypassing VPNs:

  • E-SBCs take on WebRTC gateway and BYOD security functionality: Learn the new roles E-SBCs have taken on in UC infrastructure.
  • How important are session border controllers within a UC architecture? Find out in this expert answer from Michael Brandenburg.
  • Session border control: The good, the bad, the ugly. Learn the pros and cons of adopting SBCs in an enterprise.

This was first published in November 2013

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