Joe Hernick is an IT director with a Fortune 500 firm; he has 12 years of consulting and project management experience in data and telecom environments. Dean Ellerton, MS.Ed, is the director of technology for a private New England boarding school. Maj. Jim Wiggs has managed telecom and computer systems for the U.S. military, government and private industry for more than 20 years. Send comments to [email protected]
Consider the lowly modem. Seems harmless enough, but the reality is that your telecom system could be your company's Achilles' heel. All the pricey firewalls and IDSs you've set up to guard your data network can be thwarted by one unsecured modem. An intruder who can hack into a legacy PBX could set up an international line and run up big toll charges. Employees may sidestep content filtering by dialing into an ISP using your telephone system.
When the opportunity arose to test Secure-Logix's ETM suite, the only enterprise-level platform for securing analog and digital circuits connected to divergent and dispersed PBX platforms, we jumped at the chance.
The SecureLogix product knocked us out with its scalability, granular control, detailed reporting and top-flight customer service. Except for its steep price, we would have kept the system in a New York minute. If you can justify the cost (see "Calling ROI"), we recommend the ETM for all but the smallest organizations.
The ETM system comprised three rackmounted Dell Windows 2000 servers and a pair of rackmounted ETM hardware appliances, connected by a private 100-Mbps Ethernet switch. We used a 1-GHz Intel Celeron processor with 1 GB of RAM to run the ETM client software: TeleView Infrastructure Manager 3.0.3 and TeleAudit Usage Manager 3.0.3. Another 1-GHz Celeron processor with 1 GB of RAM accommodated the ETM Management Server 3.0.3 and TeleAudit Report Server 3.0.3 software. And finally, a 1.13-GHz Intel Pentium III box with 1 GB of SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM) and three 18-GB drives under a hardware RAID 5 controller housed the Oracle 9i Database Server.
We tested the ETM platform using both an existing PRI span connected to an NEC PBX and a simulated PRI span looped through a Spirent Communications Abacus call generator. In the PRI runs, we tested inbound and outbound calls using POTS lines, PCS (Personal Communications Services) and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) service (U.S. and European spec), fax, analog modem and voice/fax combination equipment. Both domestic and international calls were logged, monitored and/or terminated. The Abacus simulated heavy volume closed-loop traffic of a variety of call types.