As amazing as technology is, it never comes without security risks. As technology evolves and new things come out, hackers and criminals will find new and innovative ways to scam and steal both money and information. Thankfully, you can effectively manage these risks as long as you remain informed and vigilant.
Understanding the Risks
Voip phones are a unique piece of technology and they come with their very own set of risks. Before you put preventive measures in place, familiarize yourself with the risks you’re facing:
- Voice Phishing. This scheme involves a criminal using false credentials to trick people into giving up sensitive, personal information. Most commonly, they present themselves as large, reputable financial establishments like a bank or credit card company. These attacks are among the worst as they target your customers rather than the system itself.
- Denial of Service. Here, hackers will initiate a bunch of call-signaling messages. This takes up bandwidth and significantly slows down service and even blocks calls from coming in or going out. This leaves customers without access to service. During these attacks, the hackers may also try to gain remote access to your system and record sensitive information.
- Phreaking. This one goes directly against the company, with hackers breaking into accounts and adding more credit, racking up charges, and recording conversations along the way. This can let them steal voice passwords required to access sensitive information.
- Eaves Dropping. Perhaps the most common threat, criminals intercept phone calls and can listen in. They listen until they have enough information to steal an identity and wreak havoc that way.
How to Prevent Security Breaches
The first step to preventing risks is to establish a quality, secure connection. While some skilled hackers can still get through, a secure connection greatly reduces the risk. In general, about 25% of Wi-Fi networks aren’t secure. Using a voip phone over an unsecured network is just asking for attacks.
In addition to a good network, there are many proactive measures you can take to ensure sensitive information remains safe:
- First, carefully choose a voip phone provider with a solid, widespread reputation for secure, reliable service.
- Any time you change or add to your system, review your security practices, and update them as necessary.
- Stay up to date on new security risks pertaining specifically to voip phone systems.
- Use secure passwords for every person and device that has access to the system.
- Provide employees with ongoing training as new security threats are discovered.
- Monitor the system closely for unusual activity. Perhaps assign one experienced, knowledgeable person to be responsible for this.
- Set up thorough authentication. Restrict access to only those that need the system, and require passwords and/or security questions before access is allowed. If you’re using a remote team, set up IP blacklists to prevent IP addresses that fail these measures from gaining access.
- Encrypt customer data. Encrypting sensitive information prevents hackers from understanding it even if they gain access to it.
- If you’re having ongoing issues, contact your service provider for additional help and expertise.
- Lastly, prepare for the worst-case scenario. Hopefully, a security breach never happens, but it could. Create a contingency plan before anything happens so you’ll be ready to act fast. Once established, train employees on the process and which steps they are responsible for. Proper handling can prevent a bad situation from becoming worse.
You must understand the risks, but don’t let them scare you. It is, unfortunately, the world we live in. For the most part, technology is necessary in the workforce. All you can do is choose the best system and take all possible measures to prevent a crisis. As long as you do your part, you’re free to enjoy the convenience and benefits that a voip phone has to offer.