Light Reading

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
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
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Intros Smart Device for eLTE

3|30|15   |   05:25   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed a secure, location-aware multimedia smartphone for its eLTE trunked radio solution, says Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Win Video, Win All

3|30|15   |   06:44   |   (0) comments


Video is going to be the next main source of revenue for operators. Operators have big opportunities and advantages to monetize video services. Globally, Huawei has helped more than 70 operators achieve over 30 million video subscribers. Watch this video for more.
LRTV Custom TV
The Benefits of HyperScale Clouds for NFV

3|27|15   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Hyperscale cloud has been developed by the Internet giants to support the creation and delivery of software-based services at blistering speeds, and at the lowest possible cost. The original ETSI NFV vision was to adopt hyperscale cloud architecture and practices. This vision has become somewhat obscured along the way, due to misunderstandings about the hyperscale ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Industry 4.0

3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (9) comments


Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Getting Connected With eLTE

3|23|15   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Trunked radio communications have entered the 4G LTE world, and with Huawei's eLTE solution, can now deliver a full range of data and video services as well as push-to-talk voice, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
AT&T Woos SMBs With Small-Scale WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/26/2015
Just Don't Say IBM Is 'Relaunching' Networking Business
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 3/26/2015
TV Everywhere Nears Mainstream Adoption
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/27/2015
Carriers Are Bright Spot in BlackBerry Q4
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/27/2015
Comcast Says TWC Deal Will Close Later
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
Cats with Phones
Interspecies Phone Love Click Here
"No, you hang up."
"No, YOU hang up."
Latest Comment