businessman speaking on phone in office

The Importance of VoIP & SIP Security

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) provides a cost-effective way for businesses to communicate. Cloud-hosted VoIP is even more convenient and removes the need for on-premises PBX hardware. Your VoIP platform of choice, whether on-premises or hosted, can be connected to the wider public switched telephone network via an SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunk.

Businesses can use SIP trunks to connect numerous lines to a PBX system and use their current phone numbers to make local or international calls over the internet.  Businesses do not need to manage separate voice and data lines because as all calls are made through the internet. 

Because VoIP and SIP run over the internet, they inherit some of the internet’s inherent security vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals can monitor or intercept data packets from VoIP calls.

What Are The Risks Of Unsecured VoIP? 

If attackers were able to gain access to your VoIP systems, they could do the following. 

  • Make calls from your account to customers and suppliers.  
  • Use your VoIP platform to make premium rate calls, passing the charges on to you. 
  • Intercepting messages to and from your customers and use the information gained for further fraud. 
  • Prevent you from accessing your VoIP system and hold it (or the data stored on it) to ransom.

Tips To Secure Your VoIP Systems

Here are some tips on how you can protect your chosen VoIP platform from threats:

  • Review Your Call Logs
    Examine your company’s call logs for any strange calling patterns or behaviours. Use a call analytics dashboard to view your weekly and monthly call volumes and investigate any suspicious activities. 
  • Restrict Your Calling
    You can block expensive or problematic numbers by default. For example, if you are not an international business, you can block international calls by default. Or allow them only for authorised users like managers. You can also block known high-toll numbers like those beginning in 09, 0844, 0845, 0870 and 0871.
  • Have A Robust Password Policy
    To keep your phone system safe, you will need strong passwords. Use a mix of letters, numbers, and non-alphanumeric characters.
  • Install Software and OS Updates Whenever They Are Available
    One of the major factors in any kind of cyberattack is out of date software and operating systems. You should check for available updates regularly and install as soon as you can. 
  • Deactivate Inactive Accounts
    Remember to deactivate an employee’s account when they leave your company. This prevents disgruntled employees from using your system to make free calls after they are no longer employed.  
  • Educate Your Users On Security Best Practices
    Train your staff on threats and how to spot them. Encourage them to report any suspicious calls or call activity to your IT department or managed IT provider. For example, ghost calls, when your phone rings without a caller, can be a sign of attempts to break into your system.

Why You Should Secure Open Ports

An open port refers to a TCP or UDP port which is open to accept data packets. A port which rejects packages is a closed port. All internet communication uses open ports to exchange data. 

Specific internet services such as browsers use specified ports to send and receive data. Open ports can be a security risk, so it is important to audit your open ports and close ports which are not being used to a specific purpose.

There are several continuous monitoring solutions which can help you both monitor, audit and lock down your open ports. If you would like more information about this, Carden Telecoms’ team will be happy to help you.

Why VoIP and SIP Security Is Important

Every business requires a high level of security. It makes no difference if you work for a major corporation or a small firm. A compromise of your phone system would be nothing short of disastrous. 

VoIP is no exception. Attackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities and open ports to exploit. One of the best ways to safeguard against these vulnerabilities is to partner with a business telecoms provider like Carden Telecoms. We have years of experience providing secure VoIP systems and SIP solutions to businesses across the UK. At Carden Telecoms, we have a security first approach to telecoms which keeps your communications secure and private – all while also keeping your costs down.

Author: Dave King

Dave King is the Co-Founder and Director of Carden Telecoms and the wider Carden IT Group. Dave is experienced in business telecoms with a focus on cloud telephony and connectivity services.