35% of companies have switched to VoIP for their phone system needs. While VoIP is efficient, it comes with unique security risks. Keep reading to learn about VoIP security vulnerabilities and what security measures counter them.
- IT help desk services provide a centralized team that addresses your staff’s technical concerns.
- These help desks increase the efficiency of your business by streamlining the IT process.
- Outsourced help desks are preferable to in-house teams, though the two can be combined.
- Factors to consider before choosing a help desk provider include resolution rates, customer satisfaction scores, and their location.
What Is VoIP?
Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is a technology that lets businesses make phone calls using a broadband internet connection instead of a traditional phone line. VoIP comes in two primary configurations:
- Exclusive VoIP services: These let you connect only to others who are on the same service.
- Open VoIP services: These let your VoIP calls connect to any phone number and IP address.
VoIP systems are great because they streamline communication and make phone calls more flexible, all while cutting costs by up to 75%. With all of the benefits, it makes sense that VoIP is becoming the preferred choice for business phone systems.
Common VoIP Security Breaches
VoIP systems face many security risks—in fact, telecom fraud costs businesses $32.7 billion annually, with VoIP fraud making up a large portion. Furthermore, a single VoIP fraud event can cost a company over $50,000. Common threats include:
Viruses and Malware
Viruses, malware, and Trojans are universal cybersecurity threats. These attacks consume bandwidth, weaken your internet signal, and give intruders access to your system in the case of ransomware. Hackers who use ransomware will usually demand funds in exchange for access back into your system—never do this. 80% of companies that pay a ransom are hit by ransomware a second time.
While these attacks are serious on their own, they also lead to backdoors that can open up further opportunities for hackers, including:
Denial of Service Attacks
Denial of service (DoS) attacks occur when hackers send out fake VoIP traffic to overwhelm your server. This flooding of fake VoIP traffic devastates your VoIP call quality. Extreme cases lead to entire systems being shut down. DoS attacks have shifted to target smaller businesses because hackers see them as easy targets. 61% of small businesses experienced cyberattacks in 2018.
Viruses and malware can lead to eavesdropping, which is when hackers listen in on your VoIP calls. This potentially gives hackers access to sensitive business information like phone numbers and passwords. If they manage to get these details, they’re only a few steps away from having full access into your business.
Phishing is one of the most common forms of cyberattack. Phishers commonly impersonate official organizations like government agencies or banks. They then use this official status against you by asking you to share sensitive information. While phishing scams may sound obvious, you’d be surprised how convincing they can be—the FBI estimates that phishers have stolen $12 billion over the past five years.
Call tampering occurs when hackers interrupt phone calls. They then send out large streams of data that make your connection unstable. These attacks cause delays and can make phone calls impossible.
How To Upgrade Your VoIP Security
Now that we know the risks associated with a VoIP phone system, what can you do to boost your VoIP security? Follow these steps to lock down your network:
Set Up Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication
Most VoIP devices come with publicly available premade passwords. Companies that retain these passwords are extremely vulnerable to cyberattacks. The simplest way to increase your VoIP security is by setting up strong passwords and fortifying them with two-factor authentication. Hackers have developed programs that can immediately crack simpler passwords. Make sure that your password is complex and:
- Has at least 12 characters
- Uses multiple numbers, symbols, and capital letters
- Doesn’t include any common words, phrases, or personal information
- Is significantly different from your other passwords
While a strong password is a good starting point, enable two-factor authentication to ensure that hackers won’t break into your account.
Conduct Security Audits
Security audits examine your business phone system and answer questions like:
- Are there any changes that need to be made?
- Has anyone breached your system?
- What are your primary security vulnerabilities?
These audits are critical to maintaining a secure network and deterring cyberattacks. While they can technically be done by anyone, they’re best left to professionals.
Partner With a Cybersecurity Company in Houston, Texas
Virtual-Q is a trusted provider of cybersecurity in Houston. Cybercrime is estimated to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. Hackers are only getting more sophisticated and are beginning to focus on small businesses. Improve the security of your company by calling us today to schedule a cybersecurity risk assessment.