How secure is IP calling?


On December 31, 2017, the traditional landline network (analog, ISDN) will be deactivated across Switzerland. It will be replaced by All IP, a standardized next-generation network for every type of communication and data exchange. 

We here respond to all common questions to IP security questions:

  • A better question might be: How secure is traditional calling? Wiretapping is relatively easy, as you surely know from spy movies. With IP calling, there are significantly more technical options available for hiding the data stream from eavesdroppers. Encryption is only one of them. When all is said and done, Internet calling is just as secure as your application requires it to be. Its basic level of security is already very high. With the right investments and technical effort, the security of conversations can be further increased, for example for banks and law offices. This can make phone calls even more secure than those made over traditional telephone connections.

    At Sunrise, phone traffic is not sent over the public Internet, but over a private network (IPVPN) that is protected from outside attacks with appropriate infrastructures.
  • To be honest: Every single ICT infrastructure could be attacked. But cloud phone systems run in highly secure Sunrise computer centers. These are security-certified and meet the highest standards, in keeping even with the requirements of banks. Additionally, cloud phone systems are generally monitored. If distinct deviations from normal phone behavior are detected, the system is locked and you will be informed.
  • Technically they could, unless the data streams are encrypted or travel across different locations through secure connections (e.g. VPN). But this is not only a technical question: Trust is established through companywide security guidelines.
  • As long as employees continue to write their passwords on Post-It notes or send Dropbox links without thinking, IP calling remains the least of your worries. Especially since there are technical means to make them very secure.
  • By selecting secure devices that should meet the latest WLAN security standards (WP2, IEEE 802.11i). Activate authentication and encryption features. This is the only way to ensure that there aren't any unauthorized users lurking in your IP network. A special VoIP firewall can identify unusual calling patterns and sound an alarm when it suspects an attack. Use a separate Internet connection for your VoIP system. VPNs (virtual private networks) offer a high level of security. This is a technology for establishing a stream of data between sender and receiver that cannot be detected. Ultimately, the same rules applying to any computer system apply to VoIP: Always have the latest antimalware software installed and keep all your systems updated.
  • Analog and ISDN connections in the traditional landline network are powered through the power grid (public remote power supply). This doesn't work with IP calling, since current cannot be packetized... To prevent outages, IP phone systems and the associated Internet router need a powerful and secure emergency power supply, such as via an emergency generator or UPS solution.
  • Then your phone will no longer work either. But the Sunrise All-IP network will continue to work normally. This means that calls can be forwarded to your mobile phone. Basically, Internet connections critical to your business should always be designed with redundancy. For example, if the IP landline network fails, it should automatically switch to the mobile network or to another provider.