Marconi Ups the SIP Security Ante

Marconi Corp. has announced that it will be licensing the SIPassure SIP Firewall from BorderWare Technologies for use in the Marconi Virtual Presence system (ViPr). The move is intended to further solidify and improve SIP security.

The Marconi ViPr system is a SIP-based multiparty integrated desktop VoIP and video platform that provides a virtual presence experience. Marconi claims the solution can handle up to 15 simultaneous videoconferencing calls. Under the new OEM licensing agreement with BorderWare, Marconi will now offer a ViPr SIP Firewall “Powered by BorderWare.”

Traditional perimeter firewalls and session border controllers do not necessarily feature in depth application-layer security, according to BorderWare and Marconi.

“Any connection to the public network presents security issues which have historically been dealt with using firewalls to protect the private network from external entities,” Keith Huthmacher, director of ViPr products at Marconi Data Networks told “Legacy Firewalls are generally not compatible with SIP media flows, due to NAT [network address translation] issues and also due to the security concerns raised by the need to pinhole the firewall to open the port used for SIP signaling [port 5060] and any associated media ports (UDP ports in the case of ViPr).”

The Marconi ViPr SIP Firewall “Powered by BorderWare” actually uses a technology that BorderWare brands as SIPassure SIP Firewall. It provides standard firewall technology including SPI (stateful packet inspection) as well as functionality for multicast network address translation transversal. A comprehensive application-layer network-vulnerability defense is key component of the solution.

SIPassure claims to protect against voice spam, session hijacking, redirection, and identity theft, among other attacks.

The inclusion of BorderWare’s technology may not be end of the line for security enhancements to Marconi’s ViPr “Marconi plans to continue to work with our customers as we deploy the ViPr SIP Firewall to determine what, if any, additional security strategies are needed to meet their deployment needs,” Huthmacher said. “The existing features in the ViPr SIP Firewall were derived from our customer’s requests to provide a comprehensive SIP security solution.”

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