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VoIP Security Risks and Countermeasures
October 6th, 2016

VoIP Security Risks and Countermeasures

Kathi Fuhrman

Voice over internet phone (VoIP) technologies continue to rise in popularity. Businesses are attracted to the low-cost service option that increases efficiency and flexibility. Since VoIP phones rely...

Voice over internet phone (VoIP) technologies continue to rise in popularity. Businesses are attracted to the low-cost service option that increases efficiency and flexibility. Since VoIP phones rely on Internet connections, you can’t overlook potential security issues as the cyber and telephone worlds blend together. This means businesses need to invest time and research into potential security breaches before transitioning to the VoIP system.

Potential security issues

VoIP security issues are similar to cyber security issues. Common security breaches include:

  • Phishing—attacks where businesses are tricked into giving out their confidential information.
  • ID spoofing—hackers make calls and change caller ID information to your business information.
  • Call hijacking—calls are routed to to different locations or “listened” to by individuals outside of your business.
  • Service theft—hackers break into your account and route your service elsewhere and lock you out of your account.
  • Malware—hackers download spam or malware onto your computers via your VoIP software.

Countermeasure tactics

Each of these security issues brings unique worries and stress for businesses. To minimize stress, take the time to implement countermeasures in advance.

  • Encryption. This process scrambles information into an unreadable format. A key or “code” is utilized to unscramble and make sense of the data. Encryption occurs in daily purchases like credit card transactions which are sent using encryption. VoIP encryption will minimize call hijacking, ID spoofing, and service theft.
  • Secure wireless networks. Cyber attacks occur every day. It seems computer hackers get smarter and more creative with their attempts. One way to help prevent attacks on your VoIP system is to utilize a secure wireless network. Securing wireless networks help minimize ID spoofing and call hijacking.
  • Change passwords often. Passwords are used to access your VoIP service account, server, and voice mails. They are the key to unlocking a great deal of confidential information. Hackers enjoy breaking these codes to access sensitive account information and call data. Change passwords often to help prevent unwanted access to your account or theft of your service.
  • Deep packet inspections (DPI). DPI examines data as it passes through a firewall. It reviews data and identifies potential viruses, malware, spam, or intruders. If the DPI flags something as suspicious, it routes the data elsewhere. This level of protection prevents spam, phishing, malware, and hacking.
  • Education. Businesses often overlook training and educating team members on security risks. Educate team members on phishing schemes and security breaches to identify them quickly.

Don’t get distracted by the low-cost benefits of VoIP services. Learning security risks is a vital part of the VoIP service research process. Make sure you fully understand potential risks and implement countermeasures to protect your business. Proactive actions help keep your business and customer information secure and confidential.


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