The Dangers of VoIP Hacking, Why Does It Matter and Protecting Yourself From It

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 a VoIP in the past, and they’ll very likely have only good things to say about it. Nonetheless, by being an online service, VoIP’s are still subject to certain disadvantages of which you should always be aware of.

What is VoIP hacking?

A proper use out 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 a VoIP has fallen under the wrong hands due to online 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 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 Involved

To simply put it, there are two main threats that your company could fall victim to when a 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.

  • Business impersonation:

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.

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.

Why should I Care?

Depending on where you live, your local law might have its own approach towards VoIP hacking. Regardless, these legal processes are far from perfect.

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.

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.

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 VoIP system is a piece of cake. You just have to know what to do.

Safeguarding Your VoIP System From Hacks

For this article, we’ll divide the following information into two categories. The first one is how to prevent getting hacked in the first place, and the second one is how to react once you know you’ve been hacked.

With no further ado, let’s begin.

Preventing 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 within 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, 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 hacks occur because somebody is pretending to be someone they’re not, the latter being anyone with authorized access to the 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 into 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 the 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 in which 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. Best case scenario, everything matched, and there’s nothing to worry about.

Reacting to hacks by contacting your VoIP provider

Believe it or not, the best way to counter any 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.

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 and cloud-based VoIP phone systems, no one can match our focus on flexibility, ensuring network security, and our highly dependable countermeasures. In no time, you’ll be more than happy to call us your business partner.

Visit our website today to learn more!

About Marc

Marc is a ‎Marketing Executive in RingOffice. He has worked for a wide range of businesses. He began his career in Marketing, eventually transitioning into sales, finding he had a ability for delivering creative & quick solutions for clients.

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