It’s difficult to have a conversation about VoIP without the words cheap and security cropping up. It’s a well-known fact that VoIP calls are less expensive than traditional phones. That’s perhaps the biggest reason why most of the world’s consumers and businesses have switched from landlines to VoIP.
Of course, it helps that VoIP phones can connect to landlines. Just because you switch to VoIP doesn’t mean you cannot call your customers anymore. Businesses can also use their existing phones with VoIP phone adapters. The publicity around free calls is over and done with.
But more recently, security issues around VoIP have made headlines. Almost every day, you read news about yet another company falling victim to a hack. They have lost data, passwords, Social Security numbers, and even more confidential information. Keeping this in mind, it is understandable that some companies hesitate to upgrade to VIP. What if you’re next?
Some businesses have postponed the switch to VoIP because of security concerns. Yet for the most part, organizations have upgraded to the latest technology for business phone systems. CEOs have not paid much attention to telephone security problems. And why should they?
It has never been a problem until now. It is not impossible to intercept landline calls. However, there wasn’t much awareness or publicity around such incidents. Now businesses have to worry about government surveillance, corporate espionage, hackers, and criminals.
It’s true that there are security concerns around VoIP. But these concerns shouldn’t stop you from upgrading. VIP security problems are not special or unique. Your phone calls face the same risks as other forms of internet communication – email, document sharing, sending pictures, etc. Would you consider disabling email in your company? Can you?
On the flip side, you should not ignore these security problems either. Anticipate them, plan for them, and confidently switch to VoIP. It’s time to get up to speed with VoIP security!
There are several attack vectors possible with VoIP. For example, hackers can intercept calls in real-time and eavesdrop on confidential conversations. They can also steal older phone calls that you have recorded and stored for corporate use.
Some criminals hack into your phone system. They place international calls to numbers they own. They get paid for the calls and you are on the hook for the bill. Other types of attacks include using the phones to hack into other parts of your network. Hackers can also install spyware and ransomware on your computers by entering through the phone system.
A DDoS attack can also cripple your network. Criminals can target your servers and overload the system with millions of requests. Unable to handle the load, your servers go down. They can bring your business to a screeching halt with this method.
With so many risks, most people assume VoIP is less secure than landlines. But how do you know if landlines are secure? Just because no one has intercepted your calls doesn’t mean it is impossible. If it was, there would be no need for warrants to wiretap phones! From a technical standpoint, both landlines and VoIP are vulnerable to interception. Hackers can compromise both phone systems.
Additionally, there are some risks that are common to both networks. Consider social engineering attacks. This involves hackers trying to manipulate users into revealing their passwords or other account credentials. This works equally well for computer networks, VoIP phone systems, and landlines.
On the other hand, you have many more options when it comes to securing VoIP. There are many software and hardware tools at your disposal. Many – if not most – of these are not available for landline phones at all. If you do it right, choosing VoIP can be the most secure option for your business.
Just as VoIP is more sophisticated than a traditional landline, you have better tools to protect it. Here are at least seven ways to protect your business phone system. All these measures make encrypted VoIP much more secure than a landline.
Encryption is the first line of defense against any unauthorized use of your business phone system. Encrypted VoIP offers multiple benefits. First of all, hackers cannot eavesdrop on confidential information. The second is that even if someone steals your phone call data, they cannot understand what is being said. The third benefit is that when all calls are encrypted between both ends no one can get extra identifying details such as a name or location.
There are very few companies that do not use a VPN for the computer network. This allows authorized users to access company data even when they’re not in the office. It also means hackers and criminals cannot enter the network easily.
Using encrypted VoIP calls over a VPN connection offers an additional layer of security. Remember that IT security is not about 100% secure options. It is about adding multiple layers of security tools that will protect your network.
It’s possible to separate a physical network into multiple, separate virtual networks. Once again, this is an additional layer of security for enterprises. You can restrict all VoIP traffic to a separate network. It makes it easier to monitor the network for unauthorized use.
Using VLANs can also help your troubleshooting process. Suppose the phones are not working. You immediately know which network to look at. You don’t have to waste time with checking routers or other infrastructure elsewhere.
This is a powerful tool that was not available with landline phones. There are many network monitoring tools you can use for the old phones. You can set up rules so that you are notified immediately if something unusual happens. This way, you’re caught unawares when something happens. Some businesses start work on Monday only to find thousands of calls made by hackers since Friday evening.
Some providers also offer blocks and restricted hours for international calls. Let’s assume only executives and salespeople need access to long-distance calls. You can block this feature for everyone else.
You can also restrict international calls to specific days and times. If your office only works from Monday to Friday, why do employees need to make long-distance calls on the weekend? Employees may need a separate PIN for placing such calls.
Unfortunately, this is something many companies forget. They might ask the provider about price, plants, and features. But they ignore security until it is too late. Even before you choose a phone system, you should always ask your provider about their security measures.
Whether you opt for hosted VoIP or SIP trunks, security is paramount. How does your vendor manage their data center and network to protect your calls? Do they offer encryption? Make sure they don’t rely solely on encryption either.
If you don’t already have a security awareness program, it’s time to start one. Make sure your employees Arab dating on the latest security scams and preventive measures. It is well known that humans are the weakest link in most security systems. Quite a few hackers use social engineering tactics to get passwords from unsuspecting victims. They don’t even have to go to the trouble of attacking your strong network defenses!
Your employees should know to use strong passwords and change them frequently. Enforce strict password policies so no one can use ‘my high school name’ or ‘123’. They should not share passwords with family members, friends, and colleagues. It is unfortunate that you can still see workstations with sticky notes and passwords written on them in offices.
Multi-factor authentication increases security compared to a standard password. It means users need two forms of identification to log into the system. One factor is something they know. In this case, it is a password. The second factor should be something they have. Some companies text a randomly generated code to their phones. Others have an app that generates codes. In either case, hackers will find it more difficult to get both pieces of information at the same time.
When all these tools are available, why do companies ignore security? The truth is that adding security often comes at a cost. For example, consider encryption. It increases security but it also requires additional bandwidth on your network. Selecting a reputed vendor who offers encrypted VoIP calls can mean paying extra for the service.
Another factor is that many companies think they will not be targeted. The reality is that sooner or later, it will be your turn. Call VoIPstudio before that happens. We offer encrypted VoIP at no extra cost. What’s more, you can try out our service for 30 days without a credit card! Check out our service and see why VoIP is more secure than a landline.
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