One of the major criticisms leveled at Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems is their perceived lack of security. Many think that software-based calling solutions lack the physical safety that hard lines seem to offer, making their security second rate.
Since their introduction to the market, lots of serious research has been done to discover any possible vulnerabilities that VoIP networks have so that they can be addressed. By employing best practices and and being vigilant about monitoring your network, your VoIP system can be almost impenetrably secure, rivalling even the most solid physical phone systems.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the basic steps you can take to ensure your VoIP system is locked down, and your calls and related data are safe.
Before exploring software security concerns, organizations should look into physical security. Plenty of businesses have invested in top-of-the-line safes, only to put a sticky note with the “hard to remember” combination nearby. You can create the most secure alphanumeric passwords, but if you leave them out in the open (for example, by accessing them while working off-site, on an unsafe network), they’re worthless
You don’t need to train your team like secret agents, but start a dialogue about security and help them learn and enact some basic best practice strategies. Always keep one eye open for any unusual activity, as it can be a sign of something bigger. Other physical security basics include making sure your hardware is up-to-date and secure and using a separate secure connection for your VoIP network to protect it from spam and attacks directed at other systems.
Network Security is VoIP Security
Securing your business’s network is the first step towards securing your VoIP system — after all, it lives on your network, and any weaknesses in the former are weaknesses in the latter. According to David Endler, chairman of the VoIP Security Alliance, searching for weaknesses in IP voice components is the key to keeping VoIP networks secure.
Systems built on technology that can be easily exploited are inherently unsafe, so make sure your VoIP provider is using the latest technology and regularly updating your software. If your IP private branch exchange (PBX), which switches calls between VoIP users on local lines while enabling users to share a certain number of external phone lines, is based in Windows, for example, any security flaws in Windows become security flaws in your VoIP system. The key to avoiding these weaknesses is to stay on top of security patches, making sure all passwords (including default passwords) are secure and changed regularly, and using VoIP-aware firewalls to protect your networks.
Trust the Experts
Ultimately, a lot of what you can do to to keep your VoIP secure depends on which software you choose to use for your contact center. Different software solutions offer varying levels of security, so it’s an important part of the conversation when choosing who to partner with. Their facilities’ security is your first line of defence, so making sure they take security seriously is key. Look for redundancy, disaster readiness and multiple secure remote data centers to back each other up — all signs that a call center software provider takes their security, and yours, seriously.
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