VoIP is becoming basic business solutions for large companies as well as small and medium-sized businesses. The rise of VoIP popularity is explained by plethora of its benefits, including cost effectiveness, enhancing business communications, providing more functionality, etc. In spite of its benefits VoIP-enabled solutions are still associated with security issues, and networks managers should take corresponding measures.
General VoIP Vulnerabilities and Solutions
To secure communications through VoIP one must realize the fundamentals of this innovative technology. Most of security risks associated with VoIP were defined as vulnerabilities. Approximately 12 years ago VoIP carriers releasing their services found out the major part of general VoIP vulnerabilities in their hunt for reducing costs they could offer to customers. The basic challenges of VoIP can be mollified either by technical or procedural solutions. Large companies with thousands or hundreds of employees in different locations can carry out these two solutions simultaneously. Two general network vulnerabilities associated with VoIP are Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed DoS which can come either from Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) layer, or the IP layer. These attacks are aimed to consume bandwidth of the network as well as other resources. Large companies need an enterprise-class solution aimed at covering the large volumes of data and voice which travel along the network. This solution can be calibrated to the needs of enterprises and should launch at the of the network via firewalls as one basic component to block violators.
Wiretapping is another risk that can enfeeble the wholeness of VoIP on insecure networks connections. They can leave wholes for intruders who can access the network with snooping tools and wiretap the phone conversations. This attack can entail loss of sensitive data such as social security numbers, credit card info, as well as private data which can be used for criminal purposes.
To mitigate wiretapping voice streams should be segregated and encrypted. An IP PBX with built-in signal encoding or an integrated access device can minimize the risk of wiretapping for VoIP networks.
Insecure VoIP elements are another general challenge associated with this technology. Voicemail systems and interactive voice features use operation systems like Windows or Linux, and are amenable to the general vulnerabilities associated with them, including malware, viruses and spyware. To mitigate this challenge the vendor should carefully test all software apps in a VoIP network.
By all means services offered by VoIP provider have multiple benefits, including money saving, increasing customer satisfaction, enhancing business communication, etc., but its security should be guaranteed at the highest levels possible without making a sacrifice to functionality. Proper security measures should be taken prior to adopting a VoIP system to protect essential network data and customer information.