As Computer Security Day approaches, awareness of both the dangers and defenses is increasing. Corporate spending on cyber security is reaching record levels, with industries shelling out millions of dollars to fortify their valuable information. Governments are ramping up their National Cyber Security strategies to ward off the latest threats.
Like physical security, cyber security internally protects computer systems from theft and disruption. Most people associate this type of security solely with computers and neglect a substantial weakness in their office infrastructure – their office phones! The technology that sits on nearly everyone’s desk seems innocuous enough, but carries a complex classification of security risks that cannot be ignored.
These preventable threats can siphon time, money and precious data from businesses. Don’t let your enterprise be among the horror stories! Here is what you need to know to stay safe:
Just How Easy Can It Be?
While Voice over Internet Protocol provides incredible benefits for businesses, it also is a favorite among fraudsters. Hacks are on the rise and new threats are being unleashed every minute.
VoIP has been around for a while, but its safety measures are just catching up to computer-based cohorts. There are still some system vulnerabilities that can easily be exploited. Listed below are the top schemes used by crooks to gain access to your network.
Eavesdropping: An old trick with a digital twist, eavesdropping on VoIP phones can be accomplished even when a phone isn’t in use. Hackers can listen in on unencrypted calls and gather personal information such as credit card details or private conversations that can be leaked to the press, or worse, to Twitter. It is extremely lucrative for criminals to perform this hack, making it a common occurrence.
Toll Fraud: This arduous scam commandeers your network and bombards your SIP gateway with countless calls to foreign countries! It can strike within minutes and rack up thousands of dollars on your monthly phone bill. It is a relentless attack that sticks unassuming small business owners with incredible debt.
Data Network Attacks: When you employ VoIP phones, voicemails change into data. Like all other forms of data within your company, voicemail messages can be prone to attack.
What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?
There are many ways to ensure you are protected from these major threats. Our main recommendation is to speak with your VoIP provider about the multiple layers of security they employ to keep your most essential data safe. Here are some crucial points to discuss:
Antivirus Protection: Antivirus polices the entry of your VoIP system, the same way it guards against threats to your computer. This software works to keep up with the latest infections so you are continuously protected. Employing antivirus software and updating it frequently is a primary task that your provider should definitely be aware of.
Password Authentication: VoIP phones use passwords the same way that computer systems do. Using strong passwords can prevent rogue users from accessing your network.
Three-Way Handshake: This term refers to a connection made between a local host and a server. It adds an extra layer of security to the password system for extensive reinforcement.
Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP): SRTPs provide real time encryption and replay attack prevention. This can be a costly measure that may also impede transmission. However, it could be an option worth exploring with your provider as it can deliver a remarkable level of security.
Transport Layer Security (TLS): Taking the lead from its ancestor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), this protocol provides data integrity for end-to-end applications. It can thwart Denial of Service attacks, a common menace to daily operations. Deep Packet Inspection (DPI): This is a form of packet filtering that detects and blocks unauthorized incoming data and code payloads.
Session Border Controller (SBC): This network element guards the protocols that control voice calls. It effectively keeps them safe and maintains consistent voice quality.
Another key component to network security is performing a regular audit of your VoIP system. This can help you spot susceptibilities and dubious call activity. Treating your phone system with the same care as your computer system will help you to streamline productivity and avoid costly mishaps.
As you go about evaluating your infrastructure, make sure that your office phone system receives the attention it requires or else you may be unknowingly putting your enterprise at risk!