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Vendors Step Into VOIP Void

VOIP poses a major security hazard for data center managers. Data centers in a number of industries are potentially at risk as VOIP rollouts gain momentum, and concerns about emerging VOIP protocols remain (see VOIP Security Poses a Problem and Vendor Points to VOIP Vulnerabilities).

Now help may be at hand from a new consortium of vendors and service providers (see VOIP Security Alliance Formed).

Austin, Texas-based TippingPoint Technologies Inc. is the prime mover behind the consortium, which is called the VOIP Security Alliance (VOIPSA). Other members include rival security vendor Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), service provider Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), and experts from Columbia University and Southern Methodist University.The group will work together on tools to tackle VOIP vulnerabilities, as well as churn out research and educational materials for users, says David Endler, Tipping Points director of digital vaccines.

Getting a disparate group of vendors to work together can be tough going, however. Last week, for example, security vendor Webroot Software Inc. parted company with an anti-spyware consortium it had founded. In a statement, the Boulder, Colo.-based firm said it was concerned with the direction the Consortium of Anti-Spyware Technology Vendors (COAST) was taking (see Webroot Splits With COAST).

Tipping Point takes pains to highlight VOIPSA's open, vendor-neutral nature, and the security specialist has already donated a software tool to the initiative. The tools developed by the consortium will also be open source, Endler says.

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