Top 5 VoIP Security Risks and Their Controls

Businesses often ponder on the reliability and overall quality of VoIP telephony system. This is a major concern which leads such businesses to consider the dangers of data security risks. In spite of the few controversial security breaches in the past, VoIP technology has advanced and transformed into a more robust business tool.

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Nowadays, Cloud-hosted VoIP services and solutions have become widely popular due to the many great advantages it brings to the table. It has eliminated all the previous issues and concerns regarding efficiency and reliability and also plays a stronger role in ensuring data security and privacy of the clients.

However, with all things being said, VoIP services still require a basic internet based structure to operate, which makes it vulnerable to data thefts and illegal intrusions. Here are the 5 most crucial VoIP security risks that need to be taken into consideration and mitigated at the earliest.

1. Denial of Service Attacks

Denial of Service is the most common form of cyber-attacks that cloud service providers have to avoid and battle. It requires very little coding knowledge to execute. Cyber-criminals, as well as the competing businesses, can or might use this malicious cyber-attack to cripple almost any VoIP system. Denial of Service attacks usually floods the main internet connection of the business or the service provider with useless data.

This results in the internet connection becoming unable to handle all the useless data transfers, which ultimately leads to the PBX system being unable to initiate new calls, incoming calls not connecting, and quality issues with existing live calls.

More severe attacks may also lead to theft of confidential business data and user identities. These types of cyber-attacks can also target the SIP resources of a call-center and overload them. It can also be used to spread to all other connections and their systems as well.

2. VoIP Call Fraud

VoIP Call Frauds occur when cybercriminals gain access to the PBX network, to make illegal free calls to the customer database or to eavesdrop on calls. They are further divided into two types.

  • Phreaking:

    It is the process of hacking your way into a VoIP system and illegally accessing confidential information, adding unauthorized phone extensions to get unlimited free calls. This leads to overcharging and overuse of resources.

  • Eavesdropping:

    The second type of VoIP call fraud is eavesdropping on live calls. This way they can possibly get access to vital business information, employee credentials, customer numbers, and other such confidential data as well. Cyber-criminals can either tap into the wired traffic or the wireless traffic and gain illegal access to the PBX voicemail, call logs and strategies, billing information, and much more. This leads to multiple issues and charges of identity theft, and corporate sabotage.

3. Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Man-in-the-Middle cyber-attacks are more sophisticated and complex VoIP security risks, which can be used to mislead customers or clients. It involves the use of elaborate custom software tools to deceive the client or the customer to think that they are accessing the genuine server or service. But, in reality, that are accidentally feeding crucial information onto the hacker’s personal database. Hence, the clever name!

These attacks are usually carried more over wireless traffic as they are a bit hard to execute over wired traffic lines. This is due to the reason that these cyber-attacks involve the use of evil twin access points can be installed to capture unwary clients. And actually targeting LAN lines and gaining direct access to physical switches to make the necessary configuration changes is quite tricky, to say the least.

4. VoIP Call Tampering and Hijacking

VoIP call tampering is a type of security risk in which a hacker intends to cause issues with the VoIP communication stream leading to the quality issues. It is also known as Phishing over VoIP and involves the use of large streams of data packets through the PBX network, which further leads to system delays, dropped calls and other critical issues. Cyber-criminals can then also change the authorized list of credentials and keys, which can cause serious authentication and privacy issues.

5. Malware, Worms, and Viruses

Malware, worms, and viruses have somewhat become naturally associated with the Internet. This statement stands true for hosted VoIP systems. They are intended to consume all network bandwidth and create issues with software performance. They can also be used to delete and corrupt data, create Trojan backdoors, and many more serious issues. Usually, clients don’t think that malware, worms, and viruses as threats to PBX systems, but that is certainly not the case.

All internet-based systems and services are usually vulnerable to numerous security risks. As IT professionals mitigate and plug one security risk, the cyber-criminals find another more creative way to beat the system. And the story goes on and on! Fortunately, most cloud hosting service providers have to adhere to stringent standards and practices, which includes high-grade data security measures.

They engage multiple firewalls and redundant storage strategy to avoid any such forms of Denial of Service attacks. They work around the clock to ensure the maximum uptime and that issues of any kind are not affecting the reliability and quality of the PBX system.

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