The purpose of the network is to help connect things. These things include IP phones, video teleconferencing devices, laptops, mobile devices, and many other things. A sophisticated attacker understands how an organization’s critical services are built (e.g., UC services) and also understands how to leverage weaknesses in the architecture to launch attacks. Therefore, the network can and should be used to secure an organization’s UC environment against unexpected attacks and behavior. An approach that organizations can take is based on defense-in-depth principles. Techniques such as segmentation and secure network access (e.g., 802.1x authentication) can reduce the attack surface. Lastly, security features can be enabled to protect against protocol-level attacks.
To gain the most functionality out of the UC environment and implement these various layers of security, an organization needs cross-functional alignment that includes the UC, network, and security teams. When these teams work together for the common good of an organization, this cross-functional alignment positions the organization for the most success.
Last but not least, it is not possible to protect or fix what you cannot detect. This statement has never been truer when considering the use of a network to provide security. When monitoring the network environment and also sharing details about possible issues in the most efficient manner, organizations can stop or minimize the damage of an attack before it can escalate out of control.