Open source, in one example of a platform used for many web forums is found vulnerable. It needs patching but this doesn't mean that all the vulnerabilities are yet known. You can argue the same for non-open source.The vulnerability has a potential effect that could impact several areas of the organization. What will these issues have on any industry governed by a regulatory framework, what are the legal implications and what are the security ramifications of any breach?
I would apply any industry regulations that your organization may be saddled with such as SOX, HIPPA and SEC to evaluating open source VoIP security in your UC migration. You will need to ensure that your open source solution is meeting any regulatory or compliance requirements. Then, you need to investigate further known vulnerabilities of what you are using and put into action any determined necessary security measures and assessments. I do think security and network assessments, along with continuous monitoring, will soon be within embedded or hosted infrastructures and will satisfy regulatory issues.
Still, have your counsel review the open source agreements/licenses and determine whether or not there are conflicts or room for any issues or potential and probable liabilities. This maybe challenging and you may get into some un-chartered waters. In short -- you should always review your regulatory, security and legal areas. Open source or not, security is always a concern even when it's not on your radar or field of vision. I'm not implying, however, that open source is any better or worse than closed or proprietary systems.
For more information and resources regarding open source security, check out the Open Source Vulnerability Database.
This was first published in October 2008