& 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
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Interviews
    Ditching the Slash & the Orchestration Wars

    5|3|16   |     |   (2) comments


    SDN and NFV have been inextricably bound with each other for so long that on a conceptual level, smooshing them together into one catch-all phrase – SDNFV – is now justifiable, according to Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Light Reading spoke to Pitt at the NFV World Congress, where he explained that the next ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE TV Connect Highlights

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    ZTE gives us a tour of its booth and new products at TV Connect in London.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and visit the Deluxe booth at NAB! Here you'll find Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution, OTT video, virtual reality, HDR, 4K and much more!
    LRTV Interviews
    Verizon Puts Gray Boxes in the Shade

    5|2|16   |   04:33   |   (1) comment


    When it comes to the white box trend, "gray" boxes, which have a slight proprietary twist, don't give service providers and end users the advantages they're seeking, according to Verizon's Vice President of Product and New Business Innovation Shawn Hakl.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Dealing With a Disrupted Video Market

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Ericsson's Simon Frost discusses how traditional pay-TV providers can cope with the big changes wrought by the rise of OTT video and IP technology.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The VNF Responsibility of Red Hat

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At MWC, Caroline Chappell of Heavy Reading visits the Red Hat booth and sits down with Chris Wright to talk about the responsibility the VNF needs to take on in order to ensure the operators get the carrier-grade performance they expect for their network.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    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
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    Amazon AWS Reports $2.6B Quarterly Revenue, Up a Colossal 64%
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/28/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Sprint CEO: Our Spectrum Is for 5G
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/3/2016
    Amazon & Other 'Big 4' Cloud Providers Crushing Competitors
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/29/2016
    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
    Sloth Mail Click Here
    Sloth mail -- somehow even slower than snail mail.
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.