VOIP Services and HIPAA

In this article, we will consider VoIP and HIPAA technologies, analyze their main advantages and disadvantages, and discuss the equipment and programs used in this network.

VoIP technology: why is it cheaper?

The Internet Protocol (IP), available in almost every corner of the globe, is increasingly changing as more than just a means of data transmission – as a tool that simplifies and streamlines the solution of many business problems. The most effective version is telephony, which implements Voice over IP (VoIP) technology. IP-telephony is becoming more and more known, both in the corporate environment and in the consumer sphere. In addition, VoIP is also the basis for building more complex applications for use in unified communications. Such coverage of the population changes the business processes of any company.

A VoIP gateway is a standalone device that converts analog signals to SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and vice versa, providing connections between legacy telephony infrastructure and today’s VoIP networks. They can also be used by VoIP-enabled companies that want to connect to the PSTN for failover or use legacy analog equipment such as telephones and fax machines on their IP network.

There are 2 types of VoIP gateways:

  • Analog: used to connect regular analog telephone lines to the gateway.
  • Digital: Small standalone devices that allow the voice medium to be converted between PRI (Primary Rate Interface) connections (which run over T1/E1 lines) or BRI lines and VoIP connections. They are the most cost-effective solution for businesses with legacy phone system infrastructure that want to connect to a VoIP network such as a SIP trunk. They are also great for businesses with an IP-based phone system and need PSTN connectivity.

But to use this technology, a special device is not necessary if you install a client program on your computer that imitates a phone and connect headphones and a microphone or a USB phone that acts as headphones and a microphone to the PC. Such a computer-software complex is called a softphone. The software can be downloaded free of charge on the website of the IP telephony provider, after which you can register your device there. The most popular free program for VoIP telephony in the world is Skype.

The advantages of using VoIP solutions

Most VoIP solutions comply with HIPAA standards, ensuring user data integrity, confidentiality, and availability. These HIPAA-compliant phone services allow you to connect to the networks of several operators to create several traffic routes with minimal tariffs and reserve them for use in case of congestion and failures in fixed and mobile networks. At the same time, thanks to the availability of alternative routes, companies can significantly reduce communication service costs while also increasing the availability of subscribers located in networks that support various voice transmission technologies.

VoIP gateways can create virtual objects that determine the routing of telephone calls, which allows the company to “limitlessly” connect direct numbers in any country on the plane.

How is the gateway different from other devices in terms of security?

VoIP networks usually include several devices in a chain. It may include PCs, firewalls, hubs/routers/modems, SBCs, and gateways. Unlike these other devices, which have Internet access routes, gateways are not IP-to-IP devices. With gateways, there is no direct access to the Internet, so there are fewer vulnerabilities. Hacking through the gateway to access the internal IP network is impossible. Still, another risk is that a hacker gains access to the gateway’s configuration and can redirect their calls.