VoIP Security Tips
Growing business adoption of cloud-based software systems is driving the need for more enhanced and sophisticated security measures to protect company communications, data, and systems that a growing majority of businesses choose to operate in the cloud.
And VoIP is certainly no exception.
VoIP has quickly become the most popular business phone system choice among companies small and large, and while VoIP security continues to improve and innovate each year. There is no shortage of online threats, so it’s important that you put strong security measures in place to protect your systems and support employee education and participation as part of your overall strategy for maintaining your system integrity and security.
In addition to firewalls, virus and malware prevention, and strong network and systems security, there are also some practices you can adopt in your organization to keep your VoIP system (and your data) safe and secure. These VoIP security tips will help guide your VoIP security strategy with best practices for protecting your system.
1. Use Strong, Complicated, Nonsensical Passwords
Passwords are a common part of an employee’s work life, as most systems, software, and online apps require password protection. The issue is that people tend to use passwords that are easy for them to remember, which make them easier to hack and jeopardize security. You should set up a password protocol for your VoIP system that requires complex passwords.
The more random and nonsensical the password, the more difficult it is to hack or guess. This is a simple measure you can take to easily ramp up your system security and keep it solid by requiring frequent password changes as well.
2. Implement Two-Factor Authentication or Establish a VPN
Two-factor authentication is an extra security measure you can use to add another layer of validation and protection to your VoIP systems. With this control in place, employees will be required to enter their password to your VoIP system and then will need to validate their login by entering a code that’s send to an approved device they own, such as a smart phone or tablet. Should a password become compromised, this protection helps ensure that the person logging into your system is authenticated with an additional step in the login process.
If you have remote teams who need access to your VoIP solution, it’s worth setting up an encrypted, Virtual Private Network (VPN), which gives employees secured access to your private network, using a public channel. When a user logs into your system, they’ll need validate their access by using two-factor authentication, biometrics, or other cryptographic measures.
3. Use Access Control Features to Limit Data Exposure
Limiting employee access within your VoIP system (or other business systems) is a good business practice for protecting your data by only giving employees access to the tools or information they need to perform their role in your company. VoIP systems typically offer access control features that allow you to control what parts of your system individual employees are able to access, which can help you prevent internal fraud or inadvertent data leaks.
4. Set Geographic and Spending Limits on Your VoIP System
To keep your VoIP system secure and spending in check, it’s a good idea to set up credit and spending limits in your account. This limits how your VoIP system can be used and controls call spending. If an unauthorized user does happen to access your VoIP system, they can easily place calls and run up monthly bill, but with limits in place, the damage can be minimized.
Another great way to protect your business from external fraud and internal misuse, is to control your calling areas. This way, you can minimize the damage if eavesdroppers access your network and attempt to make expensive calls through your VoIP service. By controlling your calling areas, you can make sure that only verified employees have access to extended calling plans and minimize your risk of extensive, fraudulent costs.
5. Be Vigilant in Monitoring Voice and Media Traffic (and Whitelist Your IPs)
You should closely monitor all your voice and media traffic taking place over your VoIP network, and understand your typical calling volumes and patterns. This way, you can easily identify if there is activity happening on your network that is out of ordinary that may be signaling some type of breach or fraud occurring in your system.
If you have employees who travel frequently or work in different, remote locations, then it may be more difficult to isolate the static IP addresses that should have access to your VoIP system. However, you can monitor hacking trends, and block IP addresses from particular countries or regions in bulk to protect your system.
You can protect your VoIP system by whitelisting the IP addresses that are authorized to access and use your VoIP. Doing so will make it much more difficult for anyone using an unauthorized machine to gain access to your system and cause damage.
6. Train Employees on the Importance of VoIP Security
According to the Cyberthreat Defense Report for North America and Europe, “low security awareness continues to be the greatest inhibitor to defending against cyberthreats, followed closely by lack of security budget.”
To best protect your VoIP solution, you must educate all your employees who will be using the system and make sure they understand the importance of security and know all the proper protocols they need to follow to ensure that your company is not compromised.
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