VoIP Phone System Security: What’s the Bottom Line?

VoIP Phone System Security: What’s the Bottom Line?

If you are considering a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution for your company, you may have some questions regarding VoIP security. VoIP technology faces many of the same vulnerabilities as other Internet traffic and a few unique ones.

Many consumer VoIP products and solutions need to address VoIP phone system security concerns as a high priority. VoIP phone system providers, however, realize how critical security is to their customers. While their products have vulnerabilities, like all technology products, business-class service VoIP providers deal with security issues much better than freeware or low-cost VoIP consumer product vendors.

Go with a reputable VoIP service provider. Implementing a do-it-yourself, low-cost VoIP phone system is asking for security headaches.

Common Security Threats and Mitigation Technologies

Most threats to VoIP solutions are a result of hackers gaining access to a business’s VoIP administration system, usually by finding holes in management software or gateways, to commit crimes such as:

  1. Toll fraud (a.k.a. “Phreaking”): Making or reselling calls on a large scale, sometimes resulting in millions of dollars of erroneous charges to businesses.
  2. Eavesdropping on calls to steal information such as passwords, phone numbers, voicemail messages, and other company data.
  3. Vishing (a.k.a. VoIP phishing): Impersonators leave voicemails pretending to be trusted sources in attempts to get confidential information.
  4. SPIT (Spamming over Internet Telephony): Similar to email spamming, expect the hacker to spam voicemails. This clogs up the VoIP phone system, leaving it more vulnerable to a hacker attack, and it can contain malware.
  5. Call tampering: Intercepting phone calls in progress to insert noise packets, stop packets to inject silence, or masquerade as one of the parties.
  6. Viruses and other malware in smartphones and VoIP phone system administrative software.
  7. Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

While the list of threats may sound ominous, the cat is usually ahead of the mouse, and many technologies exist to combat these threats to your VoIP phone system.

Types of firewalls, authentication, and encryption technologies are continually being enhanced to bring VoIP phone systems into their folds. VoIP service providers integrate this technology into their hardware and software products and work quickly to plug holes in their security software.

What Can You Do?

First, understand how your prospective service provider protects VoIP phone system calls. When you discuss and negotiate terms of service, ask questions such as:

  • What firewalls do you have implemented in your gateways and other equipment that will be connected to my company’s network, phones, and computers?
  • What assistance will you provide in configuring the firewalls, so they remain secure?
  • What authentication methods do you use for data packets traveling from and into my premise?
  • What encryption methods are in place for the transmission of my voice packets?
  • What security issues have been identified in your VoIP phone system administration software? When and how are they being addressed? How will you help us ensure we always get the latest security upgrades and patches?

Next, understand that while much of the responsibility for VoIP phone system security lies on the service provider’s shoulders, your business needs to do its part.

Create a security policy as part of your VoIP phone system implementation plan, and engage your service provider as a partner. Ensure the policy addresses items such as access to your VoIP system’s administrative software, installing the latest security upgrades, mobile access, and vulnerability of weak links such as smartphones and gateway connections.

What Are the Most Secure VoIP Phone Systems?

The following are the leading VoIP phone system providers on the market: 

RingCentral

RingCentral VoIP phone systems have evolved from cloud-based PBX solutions to fully-fledged unified communications platforms that can conduct all business communication requirements of a company. Increased productivity and revenue while reducing costs by switching to RingCentral VoIP phone systems by picking the best customizable VoIP phone system solution for your business. 

RingCentral can be integrated with other software solutions, such as CRM and ERP, to centralize business management for better sales conversion. All these features can be enjoyed while enjoying hassle-free security compliance when using RingCentral. 

Nextiva

Nextiva VoIP phone systems are used by small and large businesses worldwide and have evolved into cloud-based VoIP phone systems to centralize business communication. Nextiva is a leading VoIP phone system provider with the rudimentary PBX/SIP trunking technology to be used with existing business communication infrastructure. Its cloud capabilities have enabled newer businesses to implement a full suite of business communication tools at affordable prices while fully remaining compliant with business communication regulations. 

8x8

8x8 VoIP phone systems provide cloud-based unified communication solutions to small to medium-sized businesses. 8x8 VoIP phone systems provide customized VoIP packages to fit your company’s budget to maintain 99% uptime at a rate you can afford. Their knowledge of the business community has allowed 8x8 to provide scalable VoIP phone systems to businesses on the growth track. 

Vonage

Vonage VoIP phone systems provide unified communication solutions to businesses trying to consolidate their business communication platforms under one software. With third-party integrations, Vonage VoIP phone systems are affordable for companies that want to ramp up their customer service initiatives. 

Dialpad

Dialpad VoIP phone systems provide cloud-based solutions for businesses that want to take internal collaboration and mobile communication solutions. Dialpad offers all of the standard features of VoIP phone systems and can be integrated with third-party applications for smoother business continuity. Dialpad offers all of these features while assuring the best security standards and compliance for businesses in all industries. With their affordable pricing models, Dialpad can provide customizable VoIP phone systems for businesses of any variety. 

In summary, your VoIP service provider must do its part, and you must do yours. Understand the threats and the technologies to mitigate them. Keep your VoIP phone system service provider responsible, do your homework, and implement your VoIP phone system security policies with vigor. Compare the best VoIP phone system providers before investing in your business’s communication strategy. 

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