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Cisco revamps CallManager

Cisco has announced new security features for CallManager, with voice media and signaling encryption support extended to the new 7940G and 7960G Cisco IP phones as well as some legacy phones.

Cisco has announced new security features for its IP Communications system CallManager. Cisco CallManager 4.1 IP telephony system extends voice media and signaling encryption support for new 7940G and 7960G Cisco IP phones and over 3.5 million installed Cisco 7940G and 7960G IP phones.

Media encryption helps to ensure the security and privacy of telephone conversations and signaling encryption protects against tampering with telephone signaling packets. Cisco CallManager 4.1 now also interoperates with a wide range of Cisco Media Gateways, including the Integrated Services Router line, to provide voice media and signaling encryption support.

“Media encryption support for Cisco Media Gateways complements the strong Voice over Virtual Private Network and threat defence security capabilities these platforms already offer,” says Ghazi Atallah, General Manager, Cisco Systems Middle East.

Media encryption on media gateways enhances voice privacy on Cisco IP phones in remote offices and provides more secure connectivity to legacy devices, including digital telephones and fax machines. In addition, Cisco is also announcing secure private messaging for Cisco Unity, an industry-first encrypted messaging feature that protects the contents of voice messages.

“With today’s announcement, Cisco continues to raise the security bar, increasing the security options available to ensure the highest possible levels of privacy and availability for users of IP Communications,” continues Atallah.

“These security enhancements to CallManager 4.1 embody Cisco’s overall Self-Defending Network strategy, which calls for an integrated, systems approach to security,” says Zeus Kerravala, vice president of enterprise infrastructure at The Yankee Group.

“By adding media encryption to its 7960 and 7940 IP phones and media gateway products, Cisco demonstrates an insightful conclusion that the phone endpoint should mirror any highly secure web application. At the same time, Cisco customers gain increased security at more layers of an IP Communications system than those from any other vendor,” he adds.

With a wide range of new Q.SIG enhancements in CallManager 4.1, the Cisco IP Communications system offers an optimal migration path for customers that require interoperability with private branch exchange (PBX) systems.

Q.SIG is the world wide signaling standard for PBX systems. Cisco CallManager 4.1 also features new, powerful call routing functionality and additional features that provide customers with significant cost control and call tracking benefits.

Cisco CallManager 4.1 software with a Cisco Media Convergence Server starts at US$5,995. Cisco CallManager 4.1 software is now available as a no-cost upgrade for Cisco CallManager 4.0 customers. Media encryption software on Cisco Media Gateways is a standard option in the recently introduced Cisco Integrated Services Router. The new secure voice messaging feature in Cisco Unity 4.04 is a no-cost enhancement for Unity customers.

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