& cplSiteName &

Covergence Banks on SIP Risks

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
8/22/2005
50%
50%

Massachusetts-based startup Covergence Inc. believes it has cooked up a cure for some of the risks associated with implementing new SIP-based applications (see SIP Guide).

With new session initiation protocol (SIP) applications like VOIP, instant messaging, and audio/video conferencing taking root at service providers, the operators need a way to secure and provide quality of service (QOS) for those applications, according to the startup, which was founded in 2003 and has raised $16 million in venture funding. Covergence is set to introduce a carrier-grade security and management solution (see Tekelec Reports Q2, Buys SIP Vendor). The product will serve as an early response system for SIP threats like hacking, spying, eavesdropping, spamming, hijacking, viruses, and denial-of-service attacks.

While Covergence isn’t letting go of many details prior to the launch, Light Reading has learned that the product consists of a series of network appliances that report SIP security and service availability problems to a central monitoring and control point (see Cisco IOS Hole Points to VOIP Threat).

The company and its VC backers believe many service providers and Fortune 2000 companies have bought into the SIP concept, but didn’t anticipate the new risk exposure. One investor says that as the SIP boom takes hold, security may have been overlooked.

"As SIP has become the de facto for messaging and other real-time applications, it has opened up a bunch of quality assurance, security, and administration issues,” says Sean Dalton, a partner at Highland Capital Partners, an investor in Covergence. “For companies that are just starting to implement IP, the issues of security and management just kind of go right over them... and then they call back six months later and say, ‘Now I get it.' "

SIP apps work differently than circuit-switched ones, explains Heavy Reading analyst at large Tim Hills. SIP uses in-band signaling, meaning that the signaling messages that control the system are transported by the same mechanism (IP packets) that transports the service media (like the voice channel for VOIP), Hills says in a recent Heavy Reading report (see SIP Guide).



The separation between signaling and media streams is logical, Hills says, not physical. This makes for an open architecture -- high on flexibility, but not inherently secure.

As such, Covergence's VP of marketing Rod Hodgman says, managing the risk isn’t easy. “It’s a hard road; you’ve got to look at interoperability, quality assurance, high availability, and confidentiality,” he says. “You’ve got internally launched virus attacks and even alleged attempts at corporate espionage." And all that, he notes, can happen behind the firewall.

Hodgman says attacks against SIP applications are not widespread today but will increase as the protocol becomes more established. For example, Hodgman says Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq: MSFT) new, SIP-based Live Communications Server, is “extremely attractive” to Fortune 2000 companies, but security issues are hindering deployments.

“There are those that I know are sitting in the labs and trying to figure out how to deploy the solution,” Hodgman says. “What’s preventing that is the security and compliance officer." (See Microsoft Intros FMC Solution.) Asked if Covergence is in discussions to partner with Microsoft on the product, Hodgman pleads the Fifth.

So if this SIP security thing is such a glaring problem, new companies must be lining up to provide the fix for it, right?

“I suspect there are a lot of smaller companies flying under the radar right now -- Borderware has a product," Hodgman says. ’s product, SIPassure, is billed as a "SIP firewall." Others involved in the space include Radware Ltd. (Nasdaq: RDWR) and M5T.

Covergence's funding is led by Highland Capital and North Bridge Venture Partners. The company got a $6 million first round of funding in January 2004 and a second round worth $10 million in June 2005.

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mark Sullivan
50%
50%
Mark Sullivan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:04:46 AM
re: Covergence Banks on SIP Risks
Hey friends, what do you think about this company? Are security issues really preventing the deployment of new SIP apps? Please post any insights you may have. Thanks. -Mark
Mark Sullivan
50%
50%
Mark Sullivan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:04:46 AM
re: Covergence Banks on SIP Risks
Hey friends, what do you think about this company. Are security issues really preventing the deployment of new SIP apps? -Mark
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
The Real-World View of Service Provider Innovation
Executives from Deutsch Telekom, Facebook, AT&T, Vodafone, and Masergy share insights from their company’s major transformation efforts and updates on key issues including open source, managed cloud connections and 5G.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
UBBS 2016 Highlights

5|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of Huawei's UBBS event in Hong Kong.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
European 2020 Digital Agenda

5|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Anacom's Fatima Barros discusses the plan to bring ultrafast broadband to Portugal by 2020.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
WiCipedia: Short Skirts & Back-Up Plans
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 5/20/2016
Google Doubles Down on Machine Learning, AI
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 5/19/2016
Eurobites: Be More European, EU Tells Streaming Services
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/20/2016
Why I'm Heading to Austin for BCE
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/20/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.