The Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) today announced it is creating a partnership with BellSouth (NYSE:BLS) and Internet Security Systems (NASDAQ: ISSX) to explore security surrounding the emerging Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. As communication services migrate to Internet-based platforms, it is important that the security and dependability users expect in the current public switched networks be maintained with these new converged technologies. At the GTISC VoIP Security Summit held in April 2005, GTISC initiated a dialogue with security and telecommunications industry leaders, including ISS and BellSouth, to proactively address security associated with this emerging technology.
"At GTISC, we feel strongly that security should not be an after-thought with VoIP," said Mustaque Ahamad, principal investigator and director of GTISC. "By partnering with proven industry leaders ISS and BellSouth, GTISC will be able to lead the research efforts necessary to better understand VoIP threats and explore techniques that are well suited for securing VoIP devices, protocols and services."
Internet Security Systems and BellSouth have committed to a two-year research program totaling $300,000. This funding will enable GTISC faculty and graduate students to work with ISS and BellSouth technologists to develop and evaluate solutions that address VoIP security. In return, BellSouth and ISS will have access to the resulting intellectual property.
"Internet Security Systems was one of the first security companies to provide coverage for VoIP protocols in our products," said Christopher Rouland, chief technology officer at Internet Security Systems. "We look forward to working with experts at GTISC and BellSouth to further our understanding of VoIP vulnerabilities and how best to mitigate them for our customers."
"BellSouth is committed to ensuring security is an integral component in all our products and services and working with GTISC and ISS is one way to continue that focus with next generation products such as VoIP" said John Heveran, VP-Chief Information Security Officer, BellSouth.
Convergence of Internet technologies with traditional telecommunications services creates opportunities for added flexibility, lower costs and enhanced services and applications. However, to fully enable the benefits it is vital that any vulnerabilities be identified and addressed early. The researchers plan to conduct a security analysis of VoIP protocols and implementations and explore issues such as VoIP authentication for dealing with voice spam, modeling of VoIP traffic and device behavior, mobile phone security, and security of VoIP applications running on user agents.
About BellSouth Corporation
BellSouth Corporation is a Fortune 500 communications company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. BellSouth has joint control and 40 percent ownership of Cingular Wireless, the nation's largest wireless voice and data provider with 57.3 million customers.
Backed by award-winning customer service, BellSouth offers the most comprehensive and innovative package of voice and data services available in the market. Through BellSouth Answers®, residential and small business customers can bundle their local and long distance service with dial-up and high-speed DSL Internet access, satellite television and Cingular® Wireless service. For businesses, BellSouth provides secure, reliable local and long distance voice and data networking solutions. BellSouth also offers print and online directory advertising through The Real Yellow Pages® and YELLOWPAGES.COM
BellSouth believes that diversity and fostering an inclusive environment are critical in maintaining a competitive advantage in today's global marketplace. More information about BellSouth can be found at http://www.bellsouth.com.
About Internet Security Systems, Inc.
Internet Security Systems, Inc. (ISS) is the trusted security advisor to thousands of the world's leading businesses and governments, providing preemptive protection for networks, desktops and servers. An established leader in security since 1994, the ISS Proventia® integrated security platform automatically protects against both known and unknown threats, keeping networks up and running and shielding customers from online attacks before they impact business assets. ISS products and services are based on the proactive security intelligence of its X-Force® research and development team – the unequivocal world authority in vulnerability and threat research. The ISS product line is also complemented by comprehensive Managed Security Services and Professional Security Services. For more information, visit the Internet Security Systems Web site at www.iss.net or call 800-776-2362.
About the Georgia Tech Information Security Center
The Georgia Tech Information Security Center, a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, is an interdisciplinary center involving faculty from the College of Computing, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and the School of Public Policy. For more information, visit www.gtisc.gatech.edu.
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