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Top 8 Session Border Controllers (SBC) Tools

Oracle Enterprise Session Border ControllerAudioCodes E-SBCRibbon Session Border ControllersCisco Session Border ControlEdgewater NetworksDialogic Session Border ControlAlcatel-Lucent OpenTouch Session Border ControllerinGate
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Is a session border controller necessary?

If an organization were to dismiss incorporating an SBC, they would be at a huge disadvantage by leaving their systems open to security risks.

Why do you need session border controllers?

Cyber attackers are devising new ways every day to attack systems. With the threat landscape becoming more and more vulnerable, session border controllers have become essential to preventing and eliminating threats as well as to keeping your organization’s systems securely protected. You need session border controllers to manage fraud and service theft. Additionally, spoofing (a tactic used to disguise a communication from an unknown source as being from a trusted source) can be averted using SBCs. Moreover, DDoS attacks, which typically flood a server or an SBC with requests, can be easily detected. Registration storms (when millions of devices in a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) network attempt to register with a SIP server all at the same time) can also be minimized by having an SBC system in place.

How does a session border controller work?

A session border controller works by monitoring and controlling a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) network system when a call is initiated, is in progress, or has ended. Session border controllers have two main functions: security and interoperability. Because VoIP networks are targets for malicious activity and firewalls are not enough to provide complete protection, having an SBC adds additional security and has increased awareness of SIP signaling. With this extra layer of security, SBC can prevent intruders and block them when attempts are made to attack video and audio streams. Without an SBC, your VoIP system can be compromised and it becomes easier for attackers to steal sensitive identification information, eavesdrop, carry out a DDoS attack, initiate fraud, or tamper with a session.

A session border controller also works by using interoperability, acting as a facilitator to make sure SIPs work seamlessly with one another and sitting at the border between two packet-based networks. Interoperability is also necessary to normalize signalling stream headers and messages. SBC is a crucial network element that works in conjunction with VoIP as well as SIP in order to address safety concerns and improve connectivity.

Benefits of Session Border Controllers

Using session border controllers provides organizations with many benefits, including:

  • Connectivity: SBCs play a critical role in securing a network, since they connect an organization's communication infrastructure to the internet.
  • Improved call quality: SBCs provide remarkable routing capabilities, improving the quality of calls. Integration of SBCs helps to monitor call quality and can help with missed or dropped calls to ensure quality consistency.
  • Pattern analysis: Unusual user behavior, like a sudden surge of traffic or attempts of DdoS attacks using pattern analysis, can cause extreme damage. SBCs are able to spot these behaviors, thereby mitigating threats and protecting the network. They can also provide protection from dangerous malware.
  • Safety: With SBCs in place, threats can be thwarted quickly. An SBC identifies threat details and can then neutralize it. If an organization has multiple locations, the SBC can send notification for the other locations to be hyper aware of the same potential breaches.
  • Continuity: Attacks can cause businesses communications systems to fail and can interrupt business operations. Phone calls, video calls, or conference calls can all be infected with malware and viruses, hindering a business’s ability to conduct business as normal and consequently causing it to lose time and money. With an SBC, systems are able to continuously operate without interruptions.
  • Security: Keeping your systems safe and secure is critical to preventing hackers from bypassing security measures. To make sure you can avoid breaches, updates and patches should be regularly updated to maintain a strong defense. SBCs work to provide the necessary extra layer of protection in order to keep your organization safe.

Features of Session Border Controllers

Beyond security, which is the main feature of session border controllers, SBCs have many other features that make them a worthwhile investment. These include:

  • Normalizing SIP: SIP makes it possible for disparate network topologies that come from different vendors to communicate with one another. The best SBCs make this process easy, seamless, and transparent.
  • Transcoding: As sessions pass through an SBC, the SBC will transcode codecs (the algorithms that are used to compress voice and video streaming signals). An SBC can understand different types of codecs and can decode and then re-encode the signals as they cross the network border.
  • NAT traversal: NAT (network address translation) is a technology that is designed to separate a public IP address from a private one that a router has assigned to any device connected to your network. However, because NATs create issues for end-to-end sessions, it is hard to translate between public and private addresses. An SBC has the strong processing power to perform the translating and routing needed to traverse NATs.
  • Tone and fax detection: For networks that still use fax technology, having an SBC can help incorporate tone detection, or the ability to identify analog telephone touch tones, which is helpful for recognizing and properly routing faxes.
  • Performance and scalability: It is important that SBCs feature extra capacity and are able to scale up. Before making a decision on which SBC system to use, evaluate its performance level along with its scalability capabilities.
  • Telecom security: VoIP has become more commonly used in organizations, so having telecom security should be considered as a necessary feature. With an SBC in place, calls are securely routed across different networks.