Securing Your VoIP Communications

Posted by Masis on Mar 21, 2017 4:07:33 PM

Setting up a new secure VoIP for your business requires time and patience, with everything else in between. Companies go to extreme lengths in implementing VoIP networks with state of the art features and equipment; though often a solid security protocol is overlooked.

Security is the foundation of VoIP communications, and it is part of the fundamentals of setting up a new VoIP system. But let’s remember, security works from both ends, the VoIP service needs to encompass end to end encryption and other security features but so do businesses; they also need to support their share of the security implementation. Security protocol is not just about adding firewalls to your system; it’s about understanding how hackers can cause malicious attacks and preventing them. You need to make sure your connections are secure and trusted, if you leave your VoIP network open for hackers you're denying your clients an all-round service. Follow the tips on how to protect your VoIP system from cyber attacks.

Encryption has coded communication since the World Wars and it’s effective, the only down side in VoIP encryption is that it slows down communication speeds as the decryption and encryption takes processing power. Encryption is the encoding of data, the computer on the other end with the correct decoder will be able to decrypt the packet. A strong internet connection is necessary, plus fast processing power so you need to ensure your VoIP provider offers efficient and powerful systems.

Ideally, having a multi layered strategy with VoIP security will ensure robust safety for your VoIP communications. Remember some security options can’t be multi layered, it depends on type and function so ensure you understand how different VoIP security methods will fit into your VoIP network. While many techniques in VoIP security are based on encryption, there are different methods. Below gives us an idea of the most common types of VoIP security from the business end. What security features do you need once you have set up your new VoIP network in your office?

Internet Protocol Security (IP Sec) is one of the more popular methods of security, a framework that ensures private, secure communications over Internet Protocol (IP) networks. Although IP Sec is known to be useful for implementing VPN, its main advantage is how it supports security at the network level completely invisible in its operation. In a nutshell, the security protocols used are encryption of data from the packet end and authentication of sender data. With that in mind, IP Sec is integrated at server level with your operating system; which secures communication from client to server, between two domain controllers and network traffic configurations.

VPN (Virtual Private Network) another security feature in the industry, adds another layer of safety to your communications; it hides your IP address keeping your network secure and private. It’s basically a network within the internet, a dedicated channel for voice traffic that is secured separate from other data transfers. Your VPN hardware/software solution will have a variety of traffic control capabilities which your provider can manage and monitor. The range of protocols differ, usually consisting of encryption and tunnel methods which provide robust security. There are plenty of VPN services out there, so check them out and subscribe.

Another standard in  VoIP security technology is SSL (Secure Socket Layer), it establishes an encrypted link between a server and a client—typically a web server and a browser. While IPsec is typically used in conjunction with IKE (Internet Key Exchange) working at layer 3 (Network Layer) of the OSI network model SSl works on a layer 4 (Transport Layer). Essentially, the SSL process is called a “SSL Handshake” securing each session with an established link verifying the server’s certificate. Basically, it checks your connecting with the person you are intending to, protecting the confidentiality of website communications with browsers.

Once you have developed a strategy with your VoIP security with the above methods, next you can build an in-depth defense by adding layers of security around servers. Network segmentation is a solid method in the multi-layered security measures taken with VoIP networks. Isolating VoIP servers and infrastructure by separating physical or virtual LANs to carry voice and data traffic can add another layer of security. For example, SIP phones can have their own network line, which helps restrict VoIP to permitted devices. By giving higher priority to VoIP, you segment networks and limit further movement up the VoIP line for hackers. This is an often forgotten method undertaken in security measures for VoIP systems.

The above methods are the first stage in understanding VoIP security, the fundamentals of securing your communications. The realm of threats is ever changing so to keep security tight you need to stay updated with latest hardware and softwares. The world of security can get complicated but this article give you insight on how to get started with your security options for your new VoIP network.

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