Monday, October 1, 2007

Using Call Accounting For Surveillance and Security

The telephone is the most immediate personal form of communication. It provides a virtually instantaneous method of conversing with a party or multiple parties from anywhere in the world. Wireless technology has blanketed the earth beyond the traditional PSTN hardwired telephone bases.

The use of the telephone is popular amongst all industries for business communication. The telephone is also a means of communication for organized crime, illegal drug traffickers and terrorists. Criminal elements often know how to circumvent telephone systems to cover their trails. Many resort to hacking unsecured PBXs and utilizing out dial features to route free calls over unsuspecting business networks.

Generally, hackers will strike using caller ID spoofing, stolen authorization pin number or cracking techniques to gain access to corporate telephone systems. Once inside, hackers can rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in charges without an accurate trace. Usually their calls are assigned to the compromised ports, voice mail boxes or extensions. The victim will often have very little recourse other than beg the telephone company for a refund.

Many corporations are adopting systems to combat criminal elements and protect their networks, employees and intellectual property by implementing more secure countermeasures. These tools include intelligent switch management algorithms that plug outbound dialing holes in voice mail boxes and other ports thus securing tandem calling. Emergency notification applications are being deployed to watchdog frequency of calls, call destinations and awkward calling patterns.

Call accounting software is a basic staple in corporate auditing by connecting to PBX station message detail recording (SMDR) and retrieving the records for processing. These SMDR records usually include date, time, duration and calling party and optionally a number of other variables such as authorization code, accessed line and station transfers. Most seasoned call accounting software packages can recognize suspicious calling patterns and highlight misuse and abuse.

Businesses have embraced call accounting as not only a means of security but also for telephone cost allocation, bill reconciliation, telecom expense management and improved productivity. Many businesses are adopting sophisticated total communication management solutions (TCMS) for multi-pronged approach to securing networks and minimizing telecom spend. TCMS includes call accounting, personalized switch administration and automated real time emergency notification.

RSI ( is recognized as an industry leader in the field of communication management. The communication management product portfolio includes tailored integration to the most popular switching and network manufactures. RSI has been granted Nortel Developer Partner status with recognition for its core portfolio as Compatible Products. RSI is a Cisco Technology Partner, Siemens HiPath Ready Standard certified, Avaya DeveloperConnect Member, Mitel MiSN Member, Adtran Complementary Solutions Provider, ShoreTel Technology Partner, NEC Univerge Partner and Alcatel Applications Partner.