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Brooktrout TR1034™ Fax Boards

Brooktrout TR Series Fax Cards – Security
Secure Network Fax Servers with the Brooktrout TR Series of Intelligent Fax Boards

Brooktrout Technology is a leading supplier of intelligent fax boards and media processing hardware that enables the development of LAN Fax applications. Brooktrout’s market leading TR series of intelligent fax boards, the TruFax and TR1034 series, provides small, medium and enterprise customers with an efficient, centralized communications server that enables the electronic delivery and receipt of documents. This centralized communications server, known as ‘Network Fax’, typically requires the fax boards to be installed in a server that is on the network. Network Fax servers save a company time and money in terms of reduced labor costs and improved productivity.

Just like any other product connecting into their network, IT Professionals should inquire to the risk of someone breaking into the network through the fax server. Fortunately for IT professionals installing an analog, BRI, digital T1/E1 PRI or IP based Brooktrout TR series intelligent fax board, security on the network fax server is not an area of concern. This is because the TR series of intelligent fax boards from Brooktrout transmit information only via the T.30 or T.38 fax communication protocols. T.30 and T.38 are both fax protocols that describe the overall procedure for establishing and managing communication between two fax devices. T.30 is a PSTN based protocol that covers 5 phases of a fax procedure, which are the call set up, communication mode selection, message transmission, post message procedure, which includes end-of-message and confirmation, and call release, or disconnection. T.38 is an IP based protocol that closely inter-works with T.30 to enable these same procedures over IP in real-time.

Neither T.30 or T.38 allow for the processing of data or the transmission of data1. Both protocols only allow for the transfer of T.4 and T.6 fax images. For example, if a malicious packet was sent over IP to a Brooktrout TR1034 series intelligent fax board, the on-board processing will immediately recognize the non-T.38 packet and drop it. If it is not a valid T.30 or T.38 packet, there is no communication path to the network.

Data modems, on the other hand, support both the V.90 and V.92 protocols, which are 56 kbps data transfer standards and have data exchange capability. The fact that a data modem allows the transfer of data, and not just fax images like a Brooktrout intelligent fax board, makes a network very susceptible to security breaches by would be hackers.

In addition to this, Brooktrout intelligent fax boards are also secure from files being passed using Binary File Transfer, or BFT. Brooktrout’s TR series boards permits the BFT protocol to be disabled within the application by the administrator at the time of install. Consequently, having a TR series board in a server that's on the network poses no threat whatsoever to your network security.

The TruFax and TR1034 series of intelligent fax boards from Brooktrout Technology provide safe, secure and reliable fax transmission capability. Through the use of the T.30 and T.38 industry standards, Brooktrout TR series fax boards transmit images in the same manner that two fax machines would send an image to each other. This use of standards combined with the ability to turn off Binary File Transfer, ensures that installing a Brooktrout intelligent fax board on your network poses no greater security threat than plugging a standalone fax machine into an analog telephone jack.

1 With the exception of Binary File Transfer (BFT) mode. Brooktrout’s TR1034 fax over IP solution does not support BFT. Other Brooktrout products that do support BFT allow this feature to be disabled. With BFT disabled, only fax protocol and compressed images will be allowed.

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