Voice over IP (VoIP) is an excellent tool for individuals and businesses looking for an effective and convenient way of communication. It is mostly popular among the masses because of its speed and cost-effectiveness. Despite the cost savings, VoIP systems are vulnerable to security threats. No call system is completely secure as security is a bit of a moving target in this technologically advanced world where we discover new threats each day.
Regardless of the security landscape of VoIP, businesses and individuals need to toughen up their security systems to ensure a secure VoIP network. Below, we will explain some common VoIP security risks and tips to ensure safe deployment.
Is VoIP Secure?
If you use VoIP systems, then you must have heard of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). Basically, when you make a call, SIP contacts the receiving device to establish a connection, and it stores all the content of the call. When the call is ended, SIP terminates the connection. Now, imagine the consequences if someone hacked the SIP and got hold of your conversation.
SIP is like HTML, so it can be accessed by VoIP calls and data. Therefore, posing a serious security threat.
How to Secure Your VoIP? – Best Security Practices
Here are some tips to secure your VoIP against cybersecurity threats and to ensure a secure VoIP.
The most effective way to secure your VoIP is through encryption. Encryption makes sure your transmitted data is unreadable and inaccessible. It makes your data untraceable, making it difficult for hackers to get access, thus offering high security.
You can use a virtual private network (VPN) for encrypting your data. VPNs are a powerful tool that passes your internet transmission and traffic through a VPN tunnel, rerouting it through a different server, thus minimizing the risk of hacking.
There are multiple VPNs in the industry that you can use for securing your VoIP, like NordVPN. It offers 256-bit encryption, which is the highest standard in the industry. You can read NordVPN’s complete review for more details.
Network Access Translation (NAT) is a valuable router feature that allocates you a private IP address for all your devices that are connected to the internet. With NAT set up, only LAN can see this IP address, thus offering a high level of anonymity and security.
VoIP with public IP addresses is not as secure as the ones on private IPs. Therefore, these are also vulnerable to attacks. With NAT, all your devices on the network will be secure from any external threats. This way, you can also tackle security issues with video conferencing software.
Another way to secure your VoIP is to use a strong password for your routers, servers, accounts, and devices. Don’t just go with random passwords that are easy to guess; you can opt for a password manager and two-factor authentication. With a password manager, you can make sure there is a different password for each device to improve its security.
Similarly, with 2FA, you can tighten your VoIP security and control access. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) adds an additional layer of security to the login process. MFA is a great tool to protect against attacks like phishing, account takeover, and more.
Top VoIP Security Risks
VoIP is vulnerable to a wide range of security threats. VoIP presents new opportunities for cybercriminals. Let’s look at some of the most common cybersecurity threats faced by VoIP systems:
Dos or Denial of Service attacks are the most common and concerning threats to VoIP. A successful DoS attack will shut down your entire network for some time. You will experience interrupted service and constant connection drops. During a DoS attack, hackers can infect the system with malware and even create overflow attacks. It may even overwhelm the system, thus affecting the entire network. One way to safeguard against it is to use a VPN for encryption, as mentioned above.
Phishing or ‘Vishing’ in the case of VoIP is an emerging security threat where attackers can divert calls to actors who present themselves as the genuine party from a reputable company. During such attacks, the target believes that the call is from a legitimate source, and they may provide them with personal information and credit card details. Targets can also reveal other sensitive information like passwords, company data, and details about the network.
Toll fraud is a common VoIP threat during which attackers access the company network to make international calls or calls to premium phone numbers, leading to a huge toll sum for the company. Hackers can use company resources for personal use, leading to accumulative toll charges. With a VPN, you can encrypt your online traffic and prevent this from happening.
Another growing risk in the VoIP environment is spam over telephone calls. Hackers can get access to your company network and send messages to thousands of people pretending to be you. It not only affects your reputation in the industry but also takes up your transmission capacity.
Secure your VoIP
These are some of the most common VoIP threats and ways to protect against them. Like any internet-connected system, VoIP is vulnerable to cybersecurity and other malicious activities. Fortunately, you can use various tools like VPN for enhanced online security and privacy and secure your VoIP – thus protecting your assets against cybercriminals.
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