Communication is the lifeline during crises, and as the world transforms its communications backbone from traditional telephony to voice over the Internet, a movement is underway to expand priority services to the Internet. Many countries already have telephony priority access capabilities in place to expedite emergency services and recovery operations, and they are using these capabilities as a starting point.
Today's enterprise networks, major Internet exchange points and international peering points increasingly are being interconnected by high-speed fiber and gigabit Ethernet facilities. While these next-generation environments provide benefits in terms of speed and throughput, they also are brutally efficient at spreading distributed denial of service attacks, viruses and malicious worms that can disrupt network and application servers. The increase in the number and severity of attacks as well as the massive economic costs of malicious worms over the past three years indicate that defenses against these problems need to be improved.
A voice-recognition protocol may be on the verge of widespread market acceptance. Developed by a consortium of major telecommunications and technology firms, the standard creates a set of programming rules that can be easily incorporated into existing telephone and wireless networks.