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Some virtual teams at Boeing have discussions focused on military aircraft. Do some Internet research on UC security mechanisms and identify and briefly describe several that Boeing should have in place to ensure the privacy and integrity of such discussions. As organizations started relying more on unified communications, the management of voice, video and messaging through one unified system has developed concern about the security of this IP – based communications infrastructure. This has happened due to the fact that UC is IP – based but there are so many potential modes of communication, from video, instant messaging and Web collaboration to the presence, e-mail and voice mail. With time we find that the situation has developed increase of mobile devices that are being used more frequently in the business environments and devices that are not as secure as those housed in the business environment organization (Manyika, Chui, Brown, Bughin, Dobbs, Roxburgh, & Byers, 2011). The most security concern in UC is eavesdropping. This is the idea that external parties can gain access to the IP connection to eavesdrop on a Web conference, receive instant message exchange or other communication media. Therefore, the biggest concern is when organizations extend their UC capabilities beyond boundaries that is to the external partners.
Additionally, SIP trunking is another service that allows organizations to use voice over IP through the Internet connection. This has created a lot of concern when the organization moves from a digital connection to an IP – based connection so as to receive and make phone calls concerning hacking raises. The best way to mitigate this concern is to make sure that the system includes SIP – aware firewalls or session border control as the protective mechanisms. In addition to this, there are many products in the SIP security market that will help mitigate risks. Another growing concern is denial of service this is an attack method most often identified with the Internet although it has become a growing threat to UC. This has caused the increase of mobile devices in the workforce that has caused the newest entrant into the UC infrastructure. With this, there is a valuable addition, allowing workers to participate in meetings and collaborative activities from wherever they are, but they also present challenges. In most organizations, it allows employees to use their own cell phones, for instance, there is worry about protection of password as well as how to wipe the data from the phone when it is lost, and how to make sure call data records aren’t compromised. For the device, best practices include shutting down unused services and ports and changing default passwords. For the network, best practices include deploying firewalls, router access control lists, virtual local-area networks, port-level switch security and authenticated network access. Securely authenticate all mobile users of organizational assets. Implement remote security management. Implement end – to – end message and data encryption. Install remote device lock and remote device kill in case of theft or loss. Other proactive moves include implementing host – and network – based intrusion detection and intrusion prevention systems or proxy servers to protect SIP trunking. Although security for UC has come a long way in the past few years, it is getting better. The SIP security capabilities is not only much improved, but there is a lot of interest around security certificate authentication mechanisms. With this in place, users placing a call over an IP network would be able to validate the identity of the person on the other end (Bradley, & Shah, 2010).
To what extent do the UC benefits experienced by Boeing mirror those of other firms that have deployed UC capabilities over converged IP networks? Boeing could enjoy desktop sharing, and online meeting capabilities that involves the collaboration capabilities before and after the creation of the united IP network. It is important to note that Boeing continues to subscribe to most of the collaboration services that it used prior to implementing its unified communications solutions (Bradley, & Shah, 2010). With that, UC is best observed to be a supplement not a replacement to the collaboration systems that were already in place.
One of the key changes associated with Boeing UC system has been the ability of employees to use the same softphone headset to support both office and mobile phone calls. Phone capabilities follow the mobile worker who can specify which device to route calls to on the fly. Their Boeing phone number is always the same whether they are in their office, at home, on the road, or working on the other side of the world. Detailed presence information about team members is provided via Lync’s location and activity feed capabilities. Supply chain partners are also able see the presence information of their key contacts at Boeing; this facilitates their interactions with engineering and maintenance teams at Boeing organization (Manyika, Chui, Brown, Bughin, Dobbs, Roxburgh, & Byers, 2011). Benefits of UC to Boeing: Boeing’s converged IP network and unified communications capabilities enable employees share information and knowledge more quickly and effectively, regardless of their location. Boeing’s geographically dispersed engineers use these systems to share expertise with one another just as they could if they were in the same place at the same time. The ability to support unified communications capabilities over the united IP network facilitates knowledge sharing and has become an important facet of Boeing’s collaboration and knowledge management strategies (Bradley, & Shah, 2010). The company’s unified communications system enables employees at remote locations to have the same capabilities that have in their home offices. Virtual teams benefit from being able to adjust their interactions to the communication mode that makes the most sense. For example, they are able to transition from instant messaging to a voice communication and/or desktop sharing session depending on what the situation requires. The UC system’s enhanced presence capabilities also provides real time information about the current availability and activities of other Boeing employees so that they can be brought into conversations about how to address time sensitive problem issues about parts, maintenance issues, or assembly line delays (Bradley, & Shah, 2010).
To date, Boeing has not implemented the full range of capabilities available through UC systems. If you were the CIO at Boeing, what additional UC capabilities would you implement? What benefits would you expect Boeing to derive from deploying these capabilities? As the fundamental enabler for UC, presence provides real – time notification of user’s current availability and ability to communicate. Most switch vendors today either offer their own presence server and capabilities or integrate with presence capabilities from Microsoft. The most challenging issue today is the lack of federation and the ability of these presence systems to work together to allow users on one presence system to see the presence status of a partner or customer on another system. When using Presence servers gather presence information from various sources and provide unified presence information to end users or applications organization (Manyika, Chui, Brown, Bughin, Dobbs, Roxburgh, & Byers, 2011). In a UC world, when we discuss presence, we are going beyond simple instant message presence. There are benefits to the Boeing Company, for instance, in the API interface we find that all capabilities in the product are exposed through secure. In addition, in the Northbound notification the mechanism for workflows helps to send notification to external systems.
Also, there is need to extend video capabilities used by the employees that use a single, unified communications infrastructure in the desktops and in the tele presence rooms (Bradley, & Shah, 2010). This could also help in simplifying the voice systems and the unified communications to reduce the costs that are dramatically simplified in the provision and its maintenance. It also helps in building productivity with comprehensive unified communications that help workers communicate and work more effectively as our concern. It similarly helps to improve collaboration simply by clicking to start the IM session and pledge for a phone call. This helps in managing the required communications with one server as well as providing medium-sized organizations and everything that is needed for mobility, video or messaging in the organization (Manyika, Chui, Brown, Bughin, Dobbs, Roxburgh, & Byers, 2011)
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