July 1, 2014

The Department of Energy’s Implementation of Voice over Internet Protocol Telecommunications Networks

Advancements in the telecommunications industry have created the ability to consolidate resources and minimize the continued environmental impact of maintaining facilities to sustain lines of communication. The Department of Energy (Department) initiated and/or completed implementation of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks at more than 14 locations at a cost of over $56 million. While this technology potentially provides many benefits, it also presents additional security risks.

Our review identified opportunities to improve the efficiency and enhance cybersecurity of the Department’s VoIP networks. We found that when upgrading aging telecommunications systems, programs and sites had undertaken a number of separate VoIP network implementations, a practice that potentially resulted in duplicative capabilities. Further, programs and sites had not always applied required cybersecurity controls to VoIP networks, thus increasing the risk of compromise.

The issues identified occurred, in part, because the Department had not developed and implemented a coordinated approach to support the implementation of VoIP efforts. Management concurred with the report’s recommendations and indicated that corrective actions had been taken related to the Department’s ongoing VoIP efforts.

Topic: Management & Administration