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Voice over IP wobbles over security

A sceptical 43% of the 100 European IT directors are worried about security according to a survey by Viatel. Despite their concerns, two-thirds of respondents believe the potential for 50% cost savings and added functionality of Voice over IP (VOIP) override any security fears.

Miscommunication in the industry has created mistrust in the technology, suggests Roberto Bonanzinga, senior vice-president for business development and marketing at Viatel.

"With carriers keen to protect legacy voice revenues, misconceptions about VoIP as an insecure early adopter technology have not been stamped out," he says.

Meanwhile, 43% of the IT directors cited denial of service attacks and viruses as the chief VoIP threats, leading to lost revenue and productivity, system downtime and unplanned maintenance costs Hacks eavesdropping on important calls also raised concern from 25% of the IT directors.

VoIP is still an unknown quantity for some companies, most typically small- to medium-sized businesses. A separate BT report finds that 48% of companies with 20 to 100 employees have little or no idea about voice and data convergence.

Despite this lack of recognition among the smaller firms, the VoIP juggernaut seems unstoppable. Investment firm Merrill Lynch shows that VoIP is fast outpacing the legacy voice market, growing 31% a year compared to a 20% decline in traditional voice systems.

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