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Keeping VoIP Secure:Ways to Protect Your VoIP From Internet Threats

Introduction

Digital collaboration is an important part of any business. Therefore, Voice Over Protocol has become indispensable. Is VoIP Secure? As its popularity grows, the threats against it become widespread too. With this, security must be a priority. Especially because cybersecurity and privacy risks grow too.

It is important to be aware of the most common security issues associated with VoIP. You also need to know what solutions offer a good defense against them.

What is VoIP?

VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a method that lets you make and receive calls over the Internet. Basically, VoIP offers phone service over the internet. It also offers features that your current telephone service may not.

Some VoIP features include call forwarding to desktops or smartphones. Others include international calls. Some business communications services just make things easier. Also, most VoIP providers offer chat, file-sharing, and video conferencing.

Most Common VoIP Security Threats

Here are some of the most common VoIP security threats to be aware of:

Eavesdropping

This is one of the most common VoIP threats. Audio streams get intercepted without authorization. This, obviously puts information from conversations at risk. However, packet capture tools let the hackers tap into unencrypted VoIP traffic. That makes conversations easily accessible. Most of the data collected from this kind of threat are used for identity theft.

Vishing

Vishing is the voice-based equivalent to the email phishing scheme. It happens when attackers use ID spoofing to trick call recipients into giving up sensitive data. Attackers pretend to be reputable businesses. They impersonate credit companies and banking institutions. The attacks generally target end-users and not the entire VoIP system. This makes it harder to prevent.

Phreaking

Another kind of call fraud is phreaking. Hackers steal service coming from a service provider. Damage caused by phreaking includes changing calling plans, racking up calls on an account, or adding more credit to an account. And this leads to excessive charges on the business’s account. Keeping VoIP secure limits these types of problems.

Denial of Service Attacks

Once a DOS attack happens, a hacker floods a VoIP network server with SIP call-signaling messages. This consumes consume available bandwidth. It also slows or stops system traffic. This halts both incoming and outgoing VoIP calls. It can also disrupt the flow of daily business. Therefore, the business suffers a loss in sales and a decrease in productivity.

This attack also lets hackers gain remote admin control of servers. Sensitive data is likely to be stolen. Expensive calls could be made on the account of your business.

Malware and Viruses

Once using softphones with a VoIP network, software and hardware are vulnerable to attacks by viruses, worms, and malware. Softphone applications run on user systems. This exposes them to malicious attacks. As various viruses take over a computer system they destroy information, send spam, and trace keystrokes to allow remote access. Also, financial data as well as credit card information is vulnerable during such attacks.

What Are The Solutions To Avoid VoIP Security Threats?

Of course, the best way to counteract the above-mentioned threats is to be very proactive. Ideally, you want to stop them before they happen. There are effective ways that businesses can protect themselves from possible attacks and threats. These solutions include the following:

Use Strong Passwords to Keep VoIP Secure

When setting up the VoIP network, make sure to protect passwords. Never leave a default password on an IP phone, switch, router, SBC, firewall, or on any other device. Make sure to choose a strong password. Follow these tips.

The best passwords use long strings of characters that do not include common phrases. Include some capital letters, special characters, and numbers. Also, make sure that you use a different password on every device.

Use Encryption to Keep VoIP Secure

Once VoIP calls are transmitted over the Internet, they are unencrypted. This makes the information accessible. In most cases, it is easy to turn on and encryption. It is also possible to configure encryption of the communications between existing points on the network.

This depends on how the VoIP network is set up. The hardware and settings on Session Border Controllers, Firewalls, and routers play a role too. Encryption is important for most types of businesses. However, is it critical for any industry that deals with consumer data. One example includes financial services.

Using a VPN

VPN or Virtual Private Network is a service that allows a business to connect to the Internet via a server run by a VPN provider. The data is securely encrypted to protect its sensitive nature.

Using a VPN is an easy and effective way to ensure the connections of remote workers are secure. A VPN makes a tunnel via the public Internet and only filter through secure information from and to an office network.

So, these remote workers would have secure access to their onsite network via a public network.

Close Monitoring

The admins of the network must monitor everything closely. Train office staff to handle unwanted vishing calls if they should occur. The end-users need to know how to handle cybersecurity as well.

Use Antivirus Software to Keep VoIP Secure

This one is obvious. However, not all businesses that use softphones are fully equipped with them. Protect softphones by installing and updating anti-malware and antivirus programs.

Using a Session Border Controller

The said devices offer a secure entry point for UC, beginning, conducting, and stopping VoIP voice calls. They also make a secure connection between the enterprise and the SIP trunking provider. SBC offers protection against DoS attacks, overflow attacks, intrusions as well as some worms that could be contained in a single packet.

So, is VoIP Secure?

It would be a lot easier to listen to a conversation over a cubicle wall compared to tapping a VoIP call. before getting too excited about encoding all the IP telephony with IPSec, consider some simple warnings. These include telling the sales force not to discuss key negotiations on cellphones in a crowded airport. At the same time, lock the doors to equipment rooms.

So, if you plan to deploy VoIP there are certain steps to make the data network a lot more secure. this is especially true if you have not done an overall security check recently. However, for most corporations, a higher level of security is needed for data applications. Especially when compared to simple phone conversations.

You can even improve the level of telephone security with a traditional one. Simply piggyback your voice to the more secure and safer data network.

How secure should a VoIP be? For example, the law enforcement community has legitimate concerns. Advanced voice networks may be too secured for court-sanctioned wiretapping.

Probably, VoIP is as secure as the traditional telephone. In some cases, it is more secure than your cell phone. You need to balance security against both risks and benefits. VoIP may just be secure enough.

What to Look For in a VoIP Provider?

Here are some security measures you should look for in a VoIP provider:

  • Observance of information security frameworks. Examine a provider to see if they follow certain international information security frameworks. These International organizations develop security frameworks and set standards for how companies can keep their data secure and safe.
  • Encrypted customer data. The provider must encrypt all the communications with the most recent TLS protocol. Also, providers should encrypt connections at both ends as well as the call content itself.
  • Data centers having complete security. The VoIP provider must use cloud computing services using secured data centers.
  • Monitoring systems. The right provider has infrastructure allowing them to monitor VoIP call traffic. It also lets them keep an eye out for anything suspicious.

These are some of the factors that you should look out for in a VoIP provider. If they have these features, you can be confident that the said technology is safe and secure to use.

Conclusion

It is imperative to take certain precautions to prevent VoIP attacks and threats. Being familiar with these attacks or threats can make your job easier. Once you know how to prevent these threats to your network, your VoIP is secure.

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