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Ideas For Securing Voip Telephones

by Sylvia Miller

VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) is the latest in telephone technology that routes telephone calls over the Internet. While VoIP has many advantages over regular switch telephones such as lower costs and the ability to integrate with other business systems, it is vulnerable to many of the same security risks as any computer connected to the Internet. To prevent hackers from abusing your VoIP service and disrupting your business, here are some ideas for securing your phone lines.

Protect Endpoints

The goal of hacking a VoIP system is to gain information. For instance, a hacker may use traffic-collection tools (also called sniffers) to monitor the VoIP data stream to obtain customers' account information or gain enough intelligence to use the company's phone lines to make 900-number calls and commit other crimes.

Therefore, securing your VoIP telephony means protecting the endpoints of the service. First and foremost, the most basic thing you can do is ensure the VoIP server has the latest compatible antivirus, firewall, and intrusion prevention programs installed. The antivirus program can stop viruses from being downloaded onto the server via spam sent to the phone line, while the firewall and intrusion prevention system can monitor traffic and filter out attempts at unauthorized use.

Another thing that should be done is to strengthen authentication measures as much as possible. Only create the minimum number of user accounts needed to manage and maintain the system to reduce the amount of possible access points for hackers, and enable two-factor authentication. Even if someone accurately guesses a password for an account, they would still need to pass the second authentication test to gain access to the machine.

Configure the application to minimize misuse of the system. One way of doing this is to input a list of country codes users are authorized to call. This can prevent exploits aimed at taking advantage of call forwarding to call scam phone numbers that charge hundreds of dollars per minute to the caller's phone line or other types of toll fraud.

Encrypt the Lines

Encrypting calls that pass through the VoIP system can also minimize the risk of hackers obtaining sensitive information via digital eavesdropping. One option for doing this is to set up VPNs (virtual private networks) for intra-office calls. This is essentially a system of dedicated connections, tunneling protocols, and encryption layers that treat the phone system as though it were connected to one big private network.

You can also encrypt your data by turning on TLS (Transport Layer Security) to secure the data signal and using SRTP (Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol) to secure data packets that flow over the Internet. Be careful when using assorted encryption options, however, as they may cause the system to slow down.

For more information about protecting your VoIP system from hackers, contact a knowledgeable business phone systems dealer, such as Hi Country Wire and Telephone.