One of the most significant advancements in business phone system technology that is being embraced by more and more businesses each year is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.
While VoIP phone systems add convenience to business communications and help significantly reduce costs, they must be properly secured to protect all your business information that you share in conversations, video conferences, or data sharing.
One of the particularly dangerous aspects of using an unsecured VoIP phone system is eavesdropping. Eavesdroppers try to access VoIP systems that they are not authorized to use. Their intentions can range anywhere from listening in on your conversations, infecting your system with viruses and malware, or hacking and compromising your system and your business.
Here are five ways that you can stop VoIP eavesdroppers and protect your system, employees, and business.
Use a hosted solution or third party VoIP solution.
Using a hosted VoIP provider can help you increase your security and add layers of protection to your service without adding any extra costs to your business, because these services are offered by the provider as part of your VoIP plan. Hosted solutions are staffed with IT experts who specialize in VoIP maintenance and system security, so they’ll be more updated on all the security enhancements that should be made and be able to protect your system and defend against any current security trends that develop.
Require complex passwords.
One of the simplest things you can do to protect your VoIP service and your business is to require all your VoIP users to create strong, complex passwords. Many eavesdroppers are not advanced hackers, and will target systems that have weak or no passwords in place to listen in or begin using your VoIP service for themselves. You should have a procedure in place that helps users create strong passwords, and requires updates frequently.
Use Encryption and Enhance Your System Security
Encrypting your business data can help you protect your company by giving you another layer of defense against malicious eavesdroppers. VoIP calls that are passed through the internet unencrypted can be more easily intercepted, and once an eavesdropper or hacker has a gateway into your system, they can try to access other programs or systems on your network. Encryption is very complex to hack, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have this level of security in place to protect all your communications and your business.
There are some other great ways that you can enhance your VoIP security and protect your system, all of which are a bit more advanced and create different layers of defense against hacking and security breaches, including:
- IPsec (Internet Protocol Security)
- Transport Layer Security
- SRTP (Secure Real-Time Transfer Protocol)
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
VPNs can help you create a more sophisticated level of security on your VoIP system by setting up a private network that users must access with an extra authentication step. You can get key FOBs or apps that will generate random, numeric codes every minute or so, and whenever an employee logs into the network, they have to have the special, random code that is generated at that moment. VPNs are much more difficult for unauthorized users to access and use with this level of security in place.
Educate employees and users on security protocols and importance.
Protecting your VoIP network is vital to protecting your business, so it’s important that your employees all understand and adhere to the security protocols that you have in place. They should be trained on all levels of security they will be required to use, and held accountable for upholding your company’s security policies.
Make sure that you have all your guidelines and security protocols written up and included in your company documents, and ask all your employees to stay updated on their role in protecting your VoIP and your company.
Monitor your system regularly, and act on any sudden or suspicious changes.
To protect your VoIP, you must also be diligent in monitoring your system and analyzing call reporting. If you identify anything that seems out of the ordinary, such as a sudden rise in international calls to a region you don’t typically call in your business or an unexplained increase in your monthly service fees, then you should look into it immediately and resolve the issue with fixes or updates to your security.
A VoIP phone system can bring your company many benefits and help improve your internal and external business communications. However, it’s incredibly important that you follow these steps and make sure your VoIP system is protected from eavesdroppers.