Case Study of Internet Protocol Telephony (IPT) Implementation at United States Coast Guard Headquarters [open pdf - 2MB]
Recent advances in information technology communications have brought about increases in bandwidth and processing speeds to encourage the growth of Internet Protocol Telephony (IPT), a method of transmitting voice conversations over data networks. Many organizations are replacing portions of their traditional phone systems to gain the benefits of cost savings and enhanced feature sets through the use of IPT. The Coast Guard has an interest in exploiting this technology, and has taken its first steps by implementing IPT at Headquarters Support Command in Washington, D.C. This thesis investigates the successful implementation practices and security policies of commercial, educational, and government organizations in order to create recommendations for IPT security policies and implementation practices relevant to the Coast Guard. It includes the discussion of the public switched telephone network, an overview of IPT, IPT security issues, the safeguards available to counter security threats, the tradeoffs (e.g., voice quality, cost) required to mitigate security risks, and current IPT security policy and implementation guidance. It is supported by the study and analysis of the IPT system at Coast Guard Headquarters. The Coast Guard gains an understanding of the advantages, limitations, and security issues that it will face as it considers further implementation of IPT.
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