There is no technology without vulnerabilities and without malicious entities wanting to take advantage of it. That's a reality.
Of today's technologies, VoIP is one of the most vulnerable mainly because of lack of awareness. There is a prevalent disregard for VoIP security. Businesses are up in arms protecting data, its systems and flow – but not voice data. And this is a big gap that needs to be addressed.
One of the worst VoIP security breaches is malware infiltration. By definition, malware is any malicious software, designed to self-propagate using the infected system. Also referred to as “worms,” these malicious programs spread throughout your connected systems and expose your account information, network, databases, media and other systems.
Malware can infiltrate through VoIP signaling and media sessions. Once it does, it spreads and propagates into the rest of your system.
There are basic defenses you can put up to prevent malware infiltration. This includes using scanning software on your computers and softphones.
You can also implement deep packet inspection, which would utilize available tools like firewalls to filter through voice packet inclusions for spam, malware and viruses. This is best implemented by system administrators.
Call interception in business is very real. It may sound like something out of movies but it happens, and you don't want to expose your business to this kind of risk.
A concrete action against call interception is call encryption. Today, call encryption is a requisite in business VoIP. It is simply bad business to not encrypt voice data when you would other corporate data.
Choose a VoIP service provider that implements encryption on their systems.
If you've already migrated to VoIP and your service provider does not encrypt calls, you can implement security measures on your end. Encryption can be implemented from your virtual private network (VPN). This is best done at enterprise level.
At the user's end, there are voice encryption software available. The best of the batch is zfone, which runs encryption on top of your VoIP client and implements a man-in-the-middle (MiTM) that sends an authentication code to the other end of the call for confirmation.
Theft of service is probably the most common security breach in VoIP. Theft can be for something as basic as account information, usernames and passwords. In grander schemes, national carriers are defrauded through their local carrier interconnect agreements. This is pointedly referred to as the International Revenue Sharing Fraud (IRSF).
In many ways, logic is the best response to this threat. Passwords need to be secure, and should stay away from repeating and sequential numbers, as well as extension codes. The network facilities should be physically secured. Calls should be encrypted.
At the vendor level, fraud detection software can be implemented to detect fraudulent call routing requests.
One of the more malicious VoIP security attacks is targeted. Denial of service (DoS) in VoIP is like the DoS we're familiar with in network and websites.
Massive traffic is directed toward the target system. Traffic usually comes from zombie systems infected with malware. The sheer mass of this traffic breaks the target down, rendering it unable to make nor receive calls.
There is currently no direct way to protect your business from denial of service attacks. Although, your administrator can implement session border controllers that have safeguards against DoS. They can also install identification systems that authenticate calls via certificates. Suspicious calls can then be filtered and blocked.
If you rely on an ATA device to convert digital calls for your analog phone, then you should implement safeguards against its inherent vulnerabilities.
ATAs work through ports – ethernet and USB ports – and these can be used to facilitate malware infiltration, toll fraud and other forms of cyber attacks.
To minimize vulnerabilities, you can install your ATA on a separate network segment, different from your internet and softphone's segment. This is not a popular practice, unfortunately. The same computer is commonly used for both voice and non-voice data.
Of course, this does not mean that you shouldn't switch to VoIP. The benefits of digital communications far outweigh its risks. It is telecommunications technology that has matured into something that truly levels the business playing field. Regardless of where you are in your industry's totem pole, you can leverage unified communications and savings to grow your business.
The requisite is that you should monitor your VoIP. This is how you spot problem areas that may be caused by cyber attacks. It is the only way to truly have reliable business VoIP service.
VoIP Spear offers affordable and hassle-free 24/7/365 VoIP monitoring services. With global server locations, you get the best estimation of your VoIP service's performance. You and your service provider can spot and address problems ASAP.