Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology is a potential target for cybercriminals. As it becomes more prevalent in the workplace, it’s likely to attract more attention from attackers.
While there’s no denying the many advantages that VoIP can bring to your business, you also need to recognize the risks and take every reasonable step to mitigate them. By implementing security and privacy strategies, you can enjoy all the benefits of VoIP without adding risk.
Here are the top five threats facing VoIP users, and how you can avoid them:
People often associate phishing with modern technology, but social engineering attacks are nothing new. Criminals have been relying on subterfuge and manipulation even before the internet was invented. While most phishing attacks are launched through email or over social media channels, voice phishing (or vishing) is an increasing concern. Such attacks may be carried out over VoIP or mobile phones and attempt to get victims to divulge sensitive information.
Because phishing is a people problem first and foremost, the only truly effective way to protect your business from such threats is to train your employees on how to identify and handle such attacks. In this case, they should get in the habit of verifying the identity of the person on the other end and being cautious about giving their personal information to strangers.
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VoIP calls can be intercepted without the caller or recipient knowing. An eavesdropping attack typically happens over an unsecured wireless network, where criminals listen in on the call using specialized software. This is a common problem with today’s increasingly remote workforce, in which employees often work from public wireless hotspots. To keep your communications safe, you should always use end-to-end encryption and consider implementing a VPN for employees on the move.
#3. Account takeovers
VoIP calls may be hijacked in the same way malware forces mobile phones to make expensive calls to premium numbers. This can cause severe reputational damage and even lead to a breach of compliance. It’s your responsibility to protect your accounts so that unauthorized users can’t access them. Relying on passwords alone isn’t enough, especially when dealing with potentially sensitive communications. Instead, you should include an extra method for verifying a user’s identity, such as a one-time security token or SMS code.
#4. ID spoofing
Many cybercriminals masquerade as operatives from legitimate organizations or people their potential victims would know personally. The phone number on your caller ID might be familiar, but the caller might not be who you think it is. Spoofing caller IDs has been possible for years, and it’s even easier with VoIP since it’s not necessary to have a landline, which can easily be traced. Caller ID spoofing software and services are readily available on the web, so you should never assume that the person you’re talking to is who they claim to be unless you verify their identities first.
Telemarketing has long been a common nuisance, but spam over internet telephony (or SPIT) can present an even bigger problem. That’s because VoIP offers two vectors for spammers to exploit — a telephone number and an IP address. Whereas auto dialers used by traditional telemarketers must dial each number separately, VoIP makes it possible to harvest any number of IP addresses, record a message, and then send it out en masse, just like email spam. But because VoIP spam often conforms to easily identifiable patterns, it’s possible to block most offending calls using a spam filter.
Quicktech provides VoIP phone systems managed, maintained, and protected in the cloud for your convenience and safety. Call us today to learn more.
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