Before you purchase a VoIP phone system for your business, you need to know the pros and cons. The shift from traditional phone systems to VoIP is driven by the inherent advantages of the technology and the changing needs of an ever-increasing number of employees working in remote locations.
A practical solution for field workers: Traditional landline phones are designed for physical offices and stores. Incoming call routing is sub-optimal at best. When employees work from home, it can be difficult to reach customers and suppliers. However, VoIP is not tied to a specific location or device and can be used from any device with an Internet connection.
Low installation and maintenance costs: both fixed and cell phones require equipment. If you need additional functionality, you must purchase phones and associated equipment, such as a phone system. Plus, you have to pay high monthly fees. But with VoIP, you can easily add a business line to your smartphone. All you have to do is download an application.
Scalability: if you want to add a landline or mobile line, you have to buy additional equipment. If your company uses VoIP, you can grant access to team members, forward calls to multiple devices, and easily add numbers.
Advanced features: Traditional systems can’t compete with the features of VoIP phone systems. Without paying a call charge, you can use voice mail, business chat, voicemail, group broadcast, auto-pooling, and callback management.
Six main VoIP security risks
While VoIP for business has some obvious benefits, it also has some risks. Here are six of the most common VoIP security risks that businesses should be aware of.
Cybercriminals pose as representatives of banks or other institutions in order to get important information from you, hack into your secure network, or access your bank account. Phishing is usually done by phone or message, and by the time users realize they have been the victim of a cyber attack, it is usually already too late.
2. DDoS attacks
A distributed denial of service (DDoS) occurs when hackers take over servers and make it impossible to use VoIP systems. Hackers use multiple botnets or “zombie computers” to flood the system with requests for connections and data, slowing or overwhelming it.
3. Call manipulation
Another VoIP security risk is that hackers introduce jamming packets into the VoIP phone system network. This affects the quality of the call and makes it impossible to have a smooth and clear conversation through the system. The call must therefore be interrupted and retried.
4. Malware, viruses
Internet-connected applications are at risk of being attacked by malware and viruses which, if introduced into a VoIP telephony system, can consume network bandwidth and cause signal interruptions. Malware and viruses can both destroy data and create Trojan horses for future attacks.
Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VOMIT) is the transformation of phone calls into files that can be transmitted and used anywhere. This allows hackers to access private conversations and sensitive business data such as usernames, passwords, call logs, and financial information.
Spam over IP telephony (SPIT) is the VoIP version of email phishing attacks. Cybercriminals send recorded voice messages over the VoIP phone network. These usually clog the system, but can also lead to malware and virus attacks.
How safe is the use of VoIP in business?
The security risks of VoIP do not mean that the technology is not safe for business use. Businesses can protect their VoIP phone systems from these cyber-attacks by exercising proper caution and following security protocols.
Data encryption can prevent hackers from accessing important business information. Strong passwords can also strengthen the security of the entire network, not just individual access points. Employees should also be trained to be wary of phishing scams using messages and voicemails.
Cecilia Lyman Robertson is a 44-year-old CEO who enjoys networking, VoIP phone, and VoIP Security Problems. She has a post-graduate degree in business studies.