How To Prevent VoIP Systems From Being Hacked

Ofcom Says Super Fast Broadband Should Be A Priority

As VoIP based communications for enterprises continues to grow in popularity, so too does the threat of fraud. The financial impact of fraud is enormous, costing the industry an estimated $38 billion every year. There are four types of fraud businesses looking to deploy VoIP communications should be aware of. Premium route fraud where calls are diverted to premium-rate numbers. Inbound toll-free abuse where difficult to hear calls are placed to individuals forcing them to stay on the line longer. Black or grey routes where stolen SIP trunking accounts are resold by hackers and caller ID spoofing where hackers pretend to be a business and mis-attribute calls from the businesses account.

Assess VoIP provider’s security protocols

To make matters worse, usually these attacks take place during holidays or over the weekend, when it is least likely for the fraud to be detected, costing the business under attack a lot of money. The best way to avoid falling victim to these kinds of attacks is to implement a few simple but effective practices. Companies should do this by assessing their VoIP providers security protocols and determine whether they are getting the best protection for their communications services. Here are a few other things companies can do:

Set a maximum default rate for outbound calls

By setting a maximum default outbound rate, all calls to a destination that exceeds the set parameter will be blocked. Businesses should make sure they know what the normal traffic rate is, so that they are able to determine the right rate cap. As traffic patterns change, the rate can be modified, however the more precise a business is in determining the rate, the more effective it will be in catching hackers before they wreak havoc on the account.

Define a whitelist of destination countries

By putting together a whitelist of permitted countries, businesses can choose exactly which countries can be called irrespective of what the outbound rate may be. By defining countries, the list basically is a set of security parameters that helps the business avoid charges that may result from a security breach or hack. The list can always be modified to suit the needs of the company and customers. Alternatively, businesses can set up a strict destination whitelist tool.

Enable IP-based authentication for outbound calls

If a business has a phone system with a static IP address, it should think about implementing authentication for outbound calls in order to ensure security. This essentially restricts access to communications resources and makes them available only to internal IP addresses. Only people who have authorised access to the network will be able to make calls or send messages. Some businesses use dynamic IP addresses and, in such instances, they should use third party tools to create blacklists of IP addresses that appear to be threats.