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Plantronics CS55 Wireless Headset Security


How Secure is the Plantronics CS55 Wireless Headset from Eavesdropping?

Plantronics CS55 Headsets all comply with the highest safety and communications regulations set out in North America. Using Plantronics CS55 headsets gives you top security for all you voice data.

This article gives an overview on how Plantronics CS55 products meet HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley (2002), Section 4 compliance; as well as US Regulation 45 CFR 164. 312(a)(2)(4).

Providing you Voice Protection

Plantronics CS55 headsets protect against eavesdropping. Plantronics uses technology that digitally codes and encrypts all voice data; so a casual listener will only ever hear a buzzing noise. The technology also prevents users from using the same frequency as another user at the same time. It does this by automatically switching channels if it experiences outside interference or detects something else using the frequency.

If the headsets are used in a high density environment, where two users have no choice but to use the same frequency at the same time, then they will experience occasional voice muting when transmitting or receiving. Operators will also experience other interference but they will not be able to hear what each other is saying.

Plantronics deliberately used a 64-bit true encryption to code voice data to stop eavesdropping. Plantronics design their products to protect you from eavesdroppers as they understand the importance of telecommunications security. They offer customers this assurance because it uses 64-bit encryption to code voice data as specified by the algorithm standard EN 300 175-7. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute sets out this standard to protect consumer privacy. If you require more information about the algorithm system the contact the Plantronics Service Center directly.

The signals used by Plantronics CS55 headsets frequency hop at a fixed rate while in idle lock. Idle lock is when the CS55 unit is in range but not audio enabled. This adds another level of security which was not intentional. This process compensates for the changes in frequency to improve the quality of the link when multiple users are on line.

For the same reasons, Plantronics CS55 headsets also hop frequencies when the unit is voice is enabled. Instead of changing frequencies at a fixed rate, it frequency hops when it detects another user on the same channel to avoid any interference. This is defined as the adaptive approach and has a higher level of security than headsets that use a single, fixed system to frequency hop.

How CS55 Headsets Pair Up

The Plantronics CS55 units have a unique pairing system for the headset and base. You can only use a unit that has paired up. A new headset can pair with the base system but it will create a new set of credentials specific to the new headset. Only one headset can pair to the base at any one time. Once the user pairs up a new headset, the unit discards the security information of the previous one.

Every unit has a unique identity. A headset and base will only allow a communications link if the security information matches what is stored in the memory. The process of pairing the headset and base is termed a subscription.

When the user subscribes a new wireless headset to the base, the headset you are replacing will flash its Talk LED continually to warn its subscription will be lost. It will no longer be possible for that headset to establish communications until it is resubscribed to that or another base.

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