To simplify security efforts for enterprises that want to deploy IP communications across far-flung operations, Avaya Inc. this week is rolling out five security gateways with integrated VPN and firewall support.
The security gateway technology from Avaya, based in Basking Ridge, N.J., allows a network administrator to manage all virtual private networks and firewalls with a single interface and distribute policy updates to all systems at once. The company is also championing the technology as a tool for business continuity: If the main server at a headquarters goes down, branch IP offices phones will still be able to receive configuration data over security gateways.
QualChoice Inc., which is the Mayfield Heights, Ohio, health care insurance company for University Hospitals Health Systems, has been using an IP telephony system from Avaya at its main office and branches in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, for about a year. To ensure a secure, reliable system for doctors, nurses and patients who call the offices for support, QualChoice uses multiple layers of VPN and encryption technology from other vendors, said Troy Tinsley, senior telecommunications specialist for QualChoice.
"You just have to build in fail-safes for security. It has to be a closed environment, and it has to be a monitored environment," Tinsley said.
About 150 employees at QualChoice are using IP telephony now, and Tinsley said he anticipates migrating the companys 800 employees at 100 sites to the system. When the voice-over-IP network becomes that far-reaching, a simpler method of security will be important, he said. QualChoice hasnt tested Avayas new security gateways, but the idea is appealing, he said.