A Security Strategy for Business VoIP

A Security Strategy for Business VoIP
October 31 21:59 2016

A Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP plan, can be very beneficial to businesses. One of the most blatant advantages is cost. A VoIP plan is significantly cheaper than a business phone line. With that said, any company that is either using VoIP or considering a switch should look at the threats that an online infrastructure faces. If you read over this guide, you’ll be able to develop a strategy that will keep your VoIP systems completely secure.

You won’t be able to implement security measures unless you know what it is you are protecting yourself from.

Some people don’t realize the risks they are taking on when they transmit sensitive data over the internet. When voice data is transferred online, it is unencrypted. You will need to take measures to encrypt it if you want to keep it secure. You should make sure that any data you transmit is fully encrypted. It is easy for hackers to gain access to networks without proper encryption.

Identify the Risks

Before instituting your security plan, you will have to determine what your goals are. Most companies want to keep their data safe without causing disruption to their service. There is a lot of customer information that you will need to keep secure. This will include transcripts of your calls or records of your transactions. You will need to make sure that no one can gain access to your network without the proper authorization.

If you want to fight off threats, you should try to learn more about the organizations and individuals that attack VoIP systems.

There are hackers who are simply interested in piggybacking onto a business’ VoIP services. They will try to use the system to make calls and send data without spending their money.

In some cases, a disgruntled employee or a disgraced worker may try to disrupt a network as an act of revenge.

In other cases, an organized attack may be launched on a VoIP system so that an individual or group can gain access to confidential information, such as phone numbers or IP addresses. This information could later be sold to competitors or could be used to redirect calls.

Secure It In Transit

As mentioned above, encryption is one of the most important safeguards for VoIP data. When information is scrambled, hackers won’t be able to decipher it quickly.

There are two primary standards for data encryption: Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, and Transport Layer Security, or TLS. Web users will typically see padlock icons on sites that use these types of encryptions.

One of the best ways to secure a VoIP connection is to use TLS on transmissions that are being sent out. That way, the communications that take place on the network will be fully secured. It will be tough for anyone to tamper with the messages being sent or intercept the data. With that said, both a client and a server will have to agree on the TLS connection for the transmission to take place.

Secure It In Real Time

Another option is to secure voice data streams in real time. This can be done through Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol or SRTP. It is used so that media transmissions, like streaming audio or video, can be transmitted securely. A network may use it to encrypt calls in transit. If this is used alongside header compression, there shouldn’t be a significant impact on the Quality of Service.

SRTP is ideal for video conferences and data files. It helps to ensure that media content can’t be manipulated while it is being streamed. This includes replay protection. Words cannot be substituted, and relevant images can’t be swapped out for something else.

While SRTP does cause a slight delay in transmission times, the benefits it offers outweigh the drawbacks. If security is important to your business, SRTP is something that you will want to look into.

Ensure Network Security

In addition to guarding your data, you should work to protect the elements that your network infrastructure is made up of. You will need a firewall, gateway protection, and some antivirus software. Ensure that you have all of the necessary tools for network security. In many cases, attacks are successful because a business network doesn’t have the security it needs. Work to make sure that no one will be able to attack your system.

In addition to protecting yourself against attacks, you should work to prevent outages and downtime. You will want a VoIP network that has data backups and standby power supplies built into it. Make sure that your servers and other crucial hardware are stored securely.

Patch and update your software on a regular basis; patches often address security weaknesses. Also, you should monitor your device with some intrusion detection system. Conduct security audits regularly. New threads pop up all of the time.

Be Secure In-House

Even if you have a secure network, you will need your team to be on board if you want to keep your VoIP system safe. Humans make mistakes, and disgruntled employees have access to information that hackers don’t possess. You will need strong in-house security if you truly want to protect your data.

You will need to require strong passwords and will have to ensure that employees change their passwords regularly. Also, you should require dual-layer authentication.

You should also make sure that you are completely compliant with local regulations. As an example, if you are going to be transmitting credit card details through your VoIP system, you will need to make sure that you satisfy the standards set by the Payment Card Industry.

While VoIP systems can be beneficial to any business, you will need to take care to protect yourself against any security threats.

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