Dialogic Blog

How Secure Is Your Fax Transmission?

by Daniel Dorsey

Sep 3, 2015 11:24:00 AM

When Dialogic introduced the SR140 “virtual fax board,” it provided clients with the flexibility to move all their fax traffic to an IP network, thus lowering telephony costs, eliminating hardware failures, and allowing the design of economical business continuity architectures. Clients built their internal LAN and WAN networks to accommodate Fax over IP (FoIP) using the T.38 protocol.  T.38 is the robust FoIP protocol for faxing in real time, and when combined with a T.38 Service Provider such as babyTEL, a client could completely virtualize their fax infrastructure.  However, because of security concerns surrounding the use of FoIP over the Internet, many HIPAA and SOX regulated clients stopped the T.38 build at the edge of their network and elected to use border gateways connected to the old analog/PRI telephony network.  Well, now the security concern has been answered with the introduction of babyTEL’s AES Encrypted T.38 real-time faxing over the Internet.  Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is the newest and strongest encryption algorithm today, in addition to being the emerging standard of encryption, surpassing Triple-DES. Using babyTEL`s patented encryption methodology, customers can now send faxes over the Internet with the same confidence, security, and reliability that they had when they were sending faxes over the old analog/PRI network. In fact, babyTEL’s AES encryption far surpasses the security of the old analog/PRI network because it encrypts not only the signalling over the Internet, it encrypts the media as well.

Virtualized, Secure Faxing Is A Reality 

Now that the security hurdle has been crossed, virtualization using the SR140 becomes an essential part of the strategy to migrate away from hardware solutions, thus dramatically lowering the cost of operation and insuring high up-time. babyTEL has provided T.38 over Internet since 2004, and is the first service provider to offer Encrypted T.38 over the Internet. For those companies that are required to meet HIPAA and SOX compliance, the babyTEL Encrypted T.38 solution is simple, elegant, and requires no change in the behavior and expectations of how people fax today. 

Other FoIP service providers may ask you to “upload a fax to a secure data center,” or offer to “hybrid-fax your document,” or provide you a “secure document exchange”. These Store-and-Forward Service Providers want the client to believe they can offer all the benefits of real-time faxing without actually delivering the fax in real time.  

Only real-time faxing insures that your fax is completed and delivers you a confirmation of the transmission, directly from the receiving/sending fax machine. There are no false-positives (a confirmation that all pages have been received, when in reality they have not).  Only real-time faxing connects the sending and receiving fax devices together, thus guaranteeing that the feedback about your fax transmission is coming from the actual fax machine and not some intermediary who is re-faxing your submitted document.  In fact, real-time faxing is an accepted legal form of document transmission, along with courier and US Postal registered mail.

If you are interested in finding out more about Encrypted T.38 Real-Time Fax, or would like a trial, please contact your local Dialogic representative or visit the babyTEL website.

Topics: Fax