Guarding Your Enterprise Cloud Phone System Against Cyber Attacks

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IP telephony has been popular among companies looking to transform their voice communications or make their existing communications systems more unified, but also need to ensure that they are secure. 

Since using a PBX or VoIP involves transmitting information over the internet, more safety precautions are necessary. Cloud telephony systems may be attacked through such means as phishing, call interceptions, impersonation and spoofing. You can only enjoy all the benefits of IP telephony if you have a strong defense system in place, and for an enterprise to have maximum security against cyber attacks, they have to maintain certain precautions.

Data Encryption
It is always safe to use high-level end-to-end encryption to secure calls, especially since your company employees would find themselves sharing confidential data over the phone at one time or the other. Even Google embedded end to end messaging encryption.

Encryption might add to your company’s bandwidth needs, but considering what a data breach could cost you, that’s only a small price to pay.

As an enterprise, you must make sure that the cloud telephony system you use has high-level encryption, and that it is very strong, as not all service providers offer it. Some companies use the Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP), which is an encryption and authentication protocol designed specifically for VoIP. 

Virtual Private Network
A VPN works for voice communications the way it does for regular browsing activities i.e encrypting your data over an internet network, especially for your offshore staff who work with a public network where the risks are higher.

However, it may be impracticable to use separate VPN and VoIP services, so the best bet is to use a VPN service that routes all your voice data through a secure network: a VoIP VPN. A VPN specifically designed to handle VoIP not only enhances your security but also prevents your enterprise from data throttling, and allows your employees to make calls to locations where VoIP services are normally restricted.

This is especially necessary for businesses with remote/Offshore workers in VoIP-restricted locations, to facilitate smooth communication and effective work collaboration.

Selecting a Service Provider
It is important to carry out due diligence upon whichever service provider your enterprise is considering. A vendor that does not prioritize security is a complete ‘no’. Security is a shared responsibility between your company and the service provider, especially if you are using a hosted VoIP service.

However, this is not to underscore the efforts of companies like Twillo, Dialpad, Telavox, ServiceNow and Ring Central among others who have been resolving problems associated with cloud phone system attacks by providing an effective management tool for securing VoIP communications.

Therefore, from the outset, there must be explicit security agreements that specify the vendor’s obligations. This may include granting your enterprise complete control of and access to all your data.

Depending on the size of your business, you might also need to set up security meetings to assess the provider’s security provisions and their compliance with legal safety requirements.

Voice VLAN
A Voice Virtual Local Area Network is an ingenious idea that allows a company to separate voice traffic from other data traffic. This is done by configuring your access ports accordingly.

It allows an enterprise to enable stricter security measures for your office voice traffic and monitor it better in order to quickly address any issues that may arise. This will be apart from the segregation resulting in better call quality. An alternative that produces similar results is to simply assign your enterprise phones a separate IP address.

Other Security Practices

  • Setting up a firewall to block unwanted and unauthorized access to the office network. 
  • Using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of security for the system.
  • Using a strong password and changing it every few months.
  • Limiting access to call logs and monitoring call logs to detect any threat or intrusion.
  • Keep your security systems up-to-date. 
  • Updating all employees on the security infrastructure in place and educating them on the best data safety and security practices.

The best security strategy would be one that encompasses all these ideas given above. No one security operation can secure your office phone system completely. However, with every method implemented, you add a layer of security, making the work even more difficult for cyber-criminals.

Finally, as a company, ensure that all employees are kept abreast of your security practices and that they have basic knowledge enough to not inadvertently compromise the company’s defense.

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