Cost of an Attack

By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2004-05-12 Print this article Print

Sure, many of these problems exist with the current switched voice network. But whats different here is the cost of mounting an attack. Its like the difference between junk mail and spam. The cost of postage keeps you from receiving a truckload of junk mail each day, but spam is free—and thus overwhelming. VOIP is simply streaming e-mail. Traceable, expensive attacks using POTS are anonymous and free over VOIP.
Compared with the world of data, where a mature security infrastructure has evolved—with AV research labs, firewalls and appliances, VOIP is as vulnerable as a mail-order bride.
Even worse, our voice expectations are so much higher than with data. Weve come to expect that e-mail and networks will go down occasionally. But phones are inviolate. Business expects a 99.9999 percent uptime for voice networks. Is VOIP reaching the "tipping point"? Find out here. Do others agree that VOIP poses a huge security problem? Based on my informal survey at NetWorld+Interop, yes. Brian Burch, the chief marketing officer of conferencing vendor Raindance, agreed. He was careful, though, to make a distinction between voice over the Internet, and IP-based voice over a secure private network. Raindance is about to launch an IP version of its popular voice conferencing system, but only over a secure and isolated network. Does Raindance think Internet-based voice is safe? "No, we do not," Burch replied emphatically. "There are not enough layers of security yet." Next page: MCI builds in safeguards.

With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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