The world is not only globalized and modernized, but it has become more connected than ever before. The average client has no time to spare, and they’ll want you to be just as fast and efficient.
This is where Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP for short, can help you. This broadband-based technology allows phone calls to be made using an internet connection instead of a telephone line. Companies where employees consistently keep in touch with one another have proven this to be a great alternative to the usual telephone companies.
Ask anybody who has already used VoIP in the past, and they’ll very likely have only good things to say about it. Nonetheless, by being an online service, VoIPs are still subject to certain disadvantages of which you should always be aware.
What is VoIP hacking?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology has become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing businesses to make phone calls over the internet rather than traditional phone lines. However, this technology is not without risks. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in VoIP systems, potentially causing serious damage to businesses. The proper use of a VoIP system provides any user with tons of advantages. It allows for high-quality calls to anyone around the globe, along with features such as auto-attendants and call recordings, all under a significantly lower price tag.
The real issue lies whenever VoIP has fallen into the wrong hands due to online VoIP hacking. This happens whenever an unauthorized person gains access to your business’s phone network without anyone’s knowledge.
VoIP hacking allows hackers to listen to all communications made within the system. Likewise, a VoIP hacked network would allow people to make their calls, just as if they were legitimate employees.
Unfortunately, things rarely stop there. For the most part, hackers use these as pathways to even more attacks against the affected company and its clientele.
The Dangers of VoIP Hacks
Simply put, there are two main threats that your company could fall victim to when a VoIP hacked network is involved.
Personal data collection:
The most immediate threat comes with what the hackers do with the information they’ve got a hold on. Worst case scenario, they might have access to personal phone numbers, email addresses, passwords, and even credit card numbers.
This would grant them the possibility of charging significant amounts of money to your employees without their knowledge since they would have the means to falsely prove that they are the valid owner of the accounts.
Now, multiply it by the number of employees who might have had their data stolen and get a hold of how difficult the situation is.
Keep in mind that you might also be giving them information related to your clients, depending on the nature of your day-to-day calls.
As mentioned above, hackers would also get the chance to make phone calls of their own, pretending that they work for the company. They would use this facade to make clients transfer the money to their accounts.
In the worst-case scenario, the amount of money being lost daily could be enough to bankrupt your company.
You also need to consider that the fractured relationship with your clients could take you down, too. Remember that they want to feel safe, and failing to do that puts an ugly stain on your company’s image.
One of the most significant risks associated with VoIP technology is call interception. Hackers can intercept and eavesdrop on VoIP calls, potentially accessing sensitive information such as financial data, customer information, and business secrets. This information can then be used for identity theft, fraud, or corporate espionage.
Hackers can also exploit vulnerabilities in a VoIP system to make unauthorized calls, often to international or premium rate numbers, resulting in large bills that can cost businesses thousands of dollars. Toll fraud is a serious problem for businesses that use VoIP technology, and it can be difficult to detect and prevent.
Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks:
Hackers can also launch DoS attacks against VoIP systems, disrupting business operations and causing downtime. This can be particularly damaging for businesses that rely heavily on their phone systems, such as call centers or customer support services.
Why should I Care?
VoIP hacking can have serious consequences for businesses, including financial losses, reputational damage, and legal liabilities. If customer information is compromised or financial data is stolen, businesses may face lawsuits, fines, or other penalties. Moreover, downtime caused by DoS attacks can lead to lost revenue and decreased productivity, resulting in long-term damage to the business.
Depending on where you live, your local law might have its own approach toward VoIP hacking. Regardless, these legal processes are far from perfect. Even so. Assuming that matters do reach a court of law, there’s no guarantee that all involved parties will be content with the results.
For the most part, affected customers will have to take care of things on their own. That involves being responsible for their financial well-being and covering for what they owe to the affected company. But remember. As a respectable company, you should work towards ensuring all your clients’ happiness. In short, you do not want to find yourself fixing the situation. You want to avoid it entirely.
Luckily, safeguarding a system from VoIP hacks is a piece of cake. You just have to know what to do.
Safeguarding Your System From VoIP Hacks
For this article, we’ll divide the following information into two categories. The first one is how to prevent a VoIP hack in the first place, and the second one is how to react once you know you’ve been the victim of a VoIP hack.
With no further ado, let’s begin.
Preventing VoIP hacks with cyber security workshops
As harsh as it might sound, most hacks occur due to an unintentional leak by one of your employees. Maybe one of them accidentally shared some information that should have stayed out of the conversation. Perhaps one of them forgot to log off their account someplace outside of work, and someone took advantage of that.
Creating a hole in your security only takes one little mistake. Many of which can be easily avoided. It should be in your best interests to educate your employees on proper online safety for those reasons.
Try making some short courses on the topic. Make them regularly, like once a year or so, and make them mandatory. Go over the importance of strong passwords, remembering to log off, and drawing boundaries for information sharing, among other topics.
Overall, you want to ensure that your employees are up-to-date with the latest security measures. More importantly, you want to make sure that they’re applying them in their daily routines.
Preventing hacks with two-factor authentication
Many VoIP hacks occur because somebody is pretending to be someone they’re not, the latter being anyone with authorized access to VoIP. Luckily, there are tons of effective ways to confirm the identities of anyone trying to log into the system.
Two-factor authentications are instances in which an extra security layer is added to the log-in process, usually involving an action that has to be carried out in real life. For example, you might be asked to input your password and receive a notification directly to your phone.
Said notification will ask you if you’re trying to log in to the system and will only allow you to do so once you confirm that it is actually you and that you’re indeed trying to log in.
If you’re interested in taking the next step, you might implement some more complex actions. Maybe you’ll get sent a QR code that must be scanned or ask for a spoken password via voice recognition software. The choice is yours.
This way, you can ensure that only people with the appropriate credentials get access to VoIP.
Preventing hacks with scheduled evaluations of the system
Ideally, you should take an active role in ensuring that everything related to your system is up-to-date. Allow yourself to check that all passwords have been changed and all necessary software is running on its latest version.
Similarly, it should be within your best interests to keep a written record of everyone that should have access to the system, as well as their intended hours of use. If possible, do include the times that they had to log in outside the usual hours.
On this same evaluation, take the time to compare the system’s access logs with what your written records have to say. Does everything match? Did someone log in at a time when they didn’t have to? Did you see a name in there that shouldn’t have access at all?
Likewise, you should go over your call history and service bills. Is something out of place?
Any discrepancies you might find could be hints that your system got hacked. That way, you can act right away. However, that’s only if you find any discrepancies at all. In the best-case scenario, everything matched, and there’s nothing to worry about.
Reacting to VoIP hacks by contacting your service provider
Believe it or not, the best way to counter any VoIP hack that’s currently taking place is to contact your provider as soon as possible. Preferably within the first 24-48 hours of the initial hack.
After notifying your provider that there’s been a hack, they’ll most likely respond with a pre-designed contingency plan. First and foremost, they’ll tell you how to isolate the network, to prevent further breaches.
Once they’ve told you how to do that, make sure that everyone in the company is aware of the process. This is not something that you should do on your own. This is a team effort. Likewise, if customer data has been compromised, it is your responsibility to notify your clients as well.
Many providers might assist you if you do not know how to proceed with that part of the plan. They probably accounted for the upcoming struggle and will help you determine what to say and how to say it.
Once everything is said and done, your provider will guide you through the process of restoring your operations. They’ll help you restore backup data and readjust your firewalls to provide a slate free of hacks. Make sure that everyone in the company does their part of the reactivation process.
For the most part, that’s it. Most providers will have their very own measures to deal with these sorts of issues, but this tends to be the general thing surrounding it. Nonetheless, when facing a hack, you should still give your utmost attention to your provider. You do not want to miss anything important they might say about your particular situation.
5 General Tips to Avoid VoIP Hacks
There are several steps businesses can take to protect themselves from VoIP hacking:
- Use Strong Passwords: Strong passwords are the first line of defense against VoIP hacking. Use complex, unique passwords for all VoIP accounts and change them regularly.
- Implement Encryption: Encryption can protect VoIP calls from interception and eavesdropping. Implement encryption protocols such as Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP) to secure VoIP calls.
- Monitor for Suspicious Activity: Keep an eye out for suspicious activity on VoIP accounts, such as unauthorized calls or changes to call settings. Implement monitoring tools that can alert you to any suspicious activity.
- Keep Software Updated: Keep all VoIP software and hardware updated with the latest security patches and upgrades. Outdated software can be vulnerable to hacking.
- Limit Access: Limit access to VoIP accounts and systems to authorized personnel only. Implement access controls to ensure that only those who need access to VoIP systems are granted it.
By taking these steps, businesses can minimize the risks of VoIP hacking and ensure the security of their communication systems.
Prevent VoIP Hacks with RingOffice
A secure VoIP system starts by choosing the right provider. Lucky for you, we are all about serving your needs.
Here at RingOffice, we firmly believe communication is the lifeblood of business. There is no successful business without proper communication. With that in mind, we’ve made it our mission to provide high-quality service alongside responsive customer service. All are uniquely suited to your requirements.
When it comes to business phone services, VoIP hacks, and cloud-based VoIP phone systems, no one can match our focus on flexibility, ensuring network security from VoIP hacks, and our highly dependable countermeasures. In no time, you’ll be more than happy to call us your business partner.