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SBC vs Firewall

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Joined: 02 Sep 2015
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Location: Pennsylvania, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:01 pm    Post subject: SBC vs Firewall  Reply with quote

NO, a firewall is NOT the same thing as and SBC.

If you are asking yourself if an SBC is the same thing as a Firewall you should know in advance what a firewall is.

A firewall protects IP networks from attacks, an SBC protects a VoIP network from attacks. Sounds very similar? Is not. Voice over IP runs completely on layer 7 (Application layer on OSI model) while IP networks are layer 3 and 4.

New "Application Firewalls" are firewalls that also run over layer 7 to prevent attacks on services/applications and may be able to protect VoIP application but still an Application Firewall is not an SBC. Application Firewalls can do several things that an SBC does at application level like deep packet inspection and payload analysis but there is still a huge difference.

Application Firewalls are often in the same box as a "normal" firewall and usually share same resources with it, meaning that if there is something going on the data side or with another application, application side has less resources to deal with VoIP security and vice versa.

SBC is completely specialized on VoIP, it does not assign any resource to other applications nor data protection, it only protects VoIP and does whatever is needed to protect it. A good SBC must be hardware-based for such protection, meaning that it must have hardware dedicate to the sole purpose of inspecting VoIP packets and signaling, of course there are software based SBC's out there, but this might be what suits into a certain budget.

Serious SBC's are hardware based and just that; an SBC.

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