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VoIP news briefs: Verizon Business, TheInfoPro and Ovum

Verizon Business introduces a new management portal; TheInfoPro looks at the rate of VoIP adoption; and Ovum warns of VoIP security threats.

Verizon Business enhances management portal
Verizon Business yesterday released a new integrated customer center portal, allowing businesses to provision, manage, order, pay and create reports for their communications services in a secure online environment.

Users can personalize their view to better manage their networks and applications. Other new capabilities include click-to-chat, which allows customers to get rapid online help, and a new Quick Status feature that lets customers view the status of their trouble tickets before logging on. Verizon also announced that the Dashboard is also now available to all Verizon Business customers, giving them a real-time view of all of their global fault, alarm and network performance and inventory information on a topology map.

Business processes that can be conducted in the enhanced portal include:

  • Flexible self-management of a wide range of Verizon Business products and services
  • Seamless and secure access of critical data and tools to manage that data
  • Easy-to-use application and tools to help improve productivity and efficiency
  • Quick determination and allocation of resources where they are needed most to help control costs
  • A near real-time view of the network, via the Dashboard, which gives global topology, rolling 30-day network availability and trouble-ticket reporting
  • Efficient and ecologically friendly paperless billing options.

Research: Most Fortune 1000 and midsized businesses thinking VoIP
New research from TheInfoPro indicated that 79% of enterprises have VoIP in use today or have a policy or initiative to implement VoIP when it's technically feasible.

According to TheInfoPro, an independent research company, the study also found that 61% of Fortune 1000 and midsized enterprises will take three years or more before a majority of their voice traffic is handled through VoIP hardware.

These findings, part of TheInfoPro's Wave 2 Networking Study, were derived from 126 hour-long interviews with networking professionals from Fortune 1000 and midsized enterprises.

"Enterprises are aware that VoIP is the wave of the future in voice networking, but they are struggling with justifying the cost of a rapid rollout," Bill Trussell, managing director of TheInfoPro's networking sector, said in a statement.

VoIP security threats still unknown: study
Analyst and consulting firm Ovum this week warned VoIP service providers and enterprises that they must start taking steps to minimize security risks now.

With such a large number of companies either new to IP telephony or still considering adoption, many companies are focused on voice quality and functionality issues instead of focusing on security, according to Ovum. The companies that are thinking about security are concerned mostly with disclosing sensitive information in phone calls or unwanted phone calls instead of other potential threats, the study said.

"We do not know which threats will become critical in VoIP or how long the process will take, but it would be foolish to ignore them," Graham Titterington, Ovum principal analyst and security expert, said in a statement.

According to the study, two areas that are most at risk are the integrity of the IP telephony systems and the data systems to which they connect. The research indicates that specific risks include spam, phishing, toll fraud and denial-of-service attacks.

"Because of their lack of awareness of such issues, users are not demanding increased security in VoIP products and services," the study states. "As a result, security improvements are being driven by the supply side of the industry -- the vendors and the IP telephony service providers."

Titterington suggested that vendors focus on protection against the specific risks instead of focusing on the public Internet. In turn, enterprises have to establish what place there is for VoIP in their activities and start to build up defenses and use filtering technologies now.

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