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How Safe is Your Phone System?

When considering security, make sure you’re protecting the data on your phones, too

In July 2011, the world saw just how vulnerable voicemail systems can be when a phone hacking scandal took down the News of the World newspaper and created a huge public backlash against News Corp. and its CEO Rupert Murdoch. Reporters were illegally intercepting voicemail messages left for the British Royal Family, celebrities, British soldiers, and others in their quest to scoop stories. Public figures’ voicemail messages aren’t likely to reveal product secrets, credit card numbers, or confidential business strategies, but your employees’ voicemails can. Voicemail systems can be configured insecurely and easily hacked—if you don’t take the right precautions.

Whether you have an analog or IP-based phone system, your company’s private voicemails are vulnerable. Most voicemail systems require only a simple four-digit personal identification number (PIN) to protect a user’s voicemail, and hackers have a few different methods for figuring out those numbers and gaining access to voice mailboxes, including caller-ID spoofing, and social engineering.

The good news is that deleted voicemail messages can’t be hacked. Therefore, the easiest and most effective step you can take in securing your voicemail system is encouraging your employees to delete sensitive messages as soon as they’ve listened to them.

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How Cisco Keeps Quality High For Voice Calls, Part 2: Metrics

In Part 1 of this post, I described how Cisco IT addresses the first key question—about reporting on voice service availability. In this Part 2, we’ll cover the second question: How does the call sound to all of the connected parties?

Cisco IT Metrics for Measuring Call Quality

Although it seems counter-intuitive, the best source of information about voice quality may not be the people who were on the call. Of course, user trouble tickets about problems such as static and echo can be important indicators of bigger issues in a voice system. But we often find that users don’t report voice quality issues, so additional tools are needed.

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Cbeyond’s Brent Cobb Talks with Cisco about Customer Intimacy and IPv6 (Part 2 of 2)

This is the second section of our two part interview with Brent Cobb, Cbeyond’s Chief Revenue and Customer Officer. The first part is located here.

How will IPv6 Transition affect your customers?

Brent Cobb:

Cbeyond has been watching IPv6 unfold since the late 90s. Today the company is in the implementation phase of its transition to support IPv6, and we’ve chosen Cisco’s Carrier Grade v6 (CGv6) implementation as its solution. To us IPv6 will impact how the plumbing of the Internet works – but we try to take the really sophisticated technology of operating a network and applications out of the discussion and service delivery to the small business into the discussion. The majority won’t be impacted directly by IPv6 because Cbeyond will make changes within our network, within our data centers, and within our application environment so our customers don’t have to understand the difference between v4 and v6. It will be transparent to our customers because we’ll handle the complexity.

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How Cisco Keeps Quality High For Voice Calls, Part 1: Availability

Measuring the quality of voice calls that are carried across a corporate network often comes down to just two key questions:

1. Availability: Will calls go through the first time and every time?

2. Quality Metrics: How do we know how well the call sounds to all of the connected parties?

In this two-part post, I’ll describe how Cisco answers these questions through the tools and processes we use for monitoring voice call quality.

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Don’t Risk Your Business on a Consumer-Grade Voice Service

Learn how to find a business-class hosted voice service that will support your company without breaking your budget

The market is crowded with providers that offer inexpensive or even free hosted voice services—all of them claiming to be the ideal telephony solution for small business. But many popular Internet-based public phone services, such as Skype and Google Voice, are more appropriate for people making personal calls from their homes to families and friends.

As a small but growing company, you need a business-class voice service that will support your business and your customers; however, you also need to be conscious of the cost, balancing the price with the quality of the service. Here are five things to look for—and look out for—when choosing a hosted voice service.

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