Is VoIP secure? This is one of the most common and frequently asked questions about the VoIP phone system. It is important to note that no phone system is completely secured so is the VoIP phone system. There’s no doubt that VoIP comes with an array of benefits for the users, it has a few security risks as well that shouldn’t be ignored. With the development and advancement in the technological world, the number of cybercrimes is also rising throughout the world. Therefore, it is important to understand the security risks and take every possible measure to ensure a highly secure phone system.
Since its introduction, VoIP has managed to maintain a good reputation as a secure technology. Still, it is important to understand that the threat of security breaches via the phone system is quite serious. No matter whether a business is small or large, a breach in the phone system can produce disastrous results for the businesses. Like various other services, VoIP services are also connected to the Internet. Hackers can easily target these services to get access to business phone systems with the intent to commit theft, fraud, or any other crime.
In today’s time, VoIP systems are practically safe in any manner. The VoIP providers are very much careful and concerned about VoIP security. However, as the nature of security threats keeps on changing, the security of VoIP technology needs to be emphasized. To ensure that the security needs are fully met and enforced, a close alliance with a business VoIP service provider and alertness in supervising IT management is very much critical. It is vital to note that the security of VoIP services is not just about encrypting the calls, but also about the security of the Internet connection.
List of VoIP security threats
A breach in the security of the VoIP system that leads to disruption of services can affect the relationships between businesses and their VoIP service providers negatively. To prevent such a situation, let’s understand the different types of security issues in VoIP so that you can create a better defense against such threats.
- Denial of Service (DoS): Denial of Service or DoS is a security attack that consumes the network resources that may disturb the telephone service and leads to an increased number of dropped phone calls. This type of security attack can take place in several ways such as by delivering data that offers a takeover of the phone system. DoS attacks mostly target websites and services that include high-profile web servers, banks, or credit card payment interfaces.
- Spam over Internet Telephony (SPIT): Spam over Internet Telephone or SPIT is a kind of theoretical threat, but it can also affect the resources and workflow negatively similar to its email counterpart. Up to now, very few cases of SPIT have been reported. However, if proper measures are not implemented, this threat may emerge as a significant issue in the security of the VoIP system.
- War dialing: War dialing is another common security threat in which hackers make use of different technologies and techniques to call multiple phone numbers automatically. This is done to find out any vulnerabilities in IT security infrastructure that can help hackers to get access to a business’s phone system.
- Toll fraud: Tall fraud, also known as International Revenue Sharing Fraud (IRSF) is a kind of security threat where fraudsters produce high volumes of international calls on expensive routes. Scammers serve these calls as premium-rate numbers and take a huge fraction of the revenue that these calls generate. In the end, the account holder is left with a large bill to be paid.
- Vishing: Vishing is like an email phishing activity where the fraudsters attack the phone numbers of VoIP users. They try to lure users with various attractive money-making schemes. They trick the users into disclosing their sensitive information like credit and debit card numbers and other important data. This data can be used to access the accounts of the users.
- Robo-calls: Though robo-calls are not considered a serious security threat, they are still enough to create a lot of inconvenience for the people. With the help of robo-calls, the spammers try to force people to respond to their annoying and useless requests.
- Malware: Similar to any other internet-connected system, VoIP systems are also vulnerable to malware attacks. VoIP services can be affected by malware and other viruses if proper security measures are not taken. As a result, it can slow down or even damage the entire phone system.
- Eavesdropping: In case the VoIP system is implemented on an unencrypted network, there is a high risk of security as the unwanted party can also listen to the conversations taking place within an organization. This can create serious security breaches, especially when the conversation involves confidential information.
These are some of the key VoIP security threats that can badly affect the functionality of a business phone system and disturb the entire workflow system of a business, and may even lead to serious damages. To assure the utmost protection of the VoIP system, it is vital to protect all the mechanisms of the VoIP infrastructure which comprises the VoIP system, SIP trunks as well as data centers. One must implement a robust security system such as Session Border Controllers (SBCs) that helps to manage the signals coming to the VoIP devices. These security systems prevent suspicious signals from entering into the VoIP phone system thus assuring better security and protection for the VoIP services.