How to protect against VoIP call hacking

A businessman realizing he isn't protected from VOIP call hacking.
How to protect against VoIP call hacking by Bulletproof IT

VoIP has become the ultimate communication tool for enterprises, but it has also become another vulnerability that hackers exploit. Because voice is essentially transferred as data, the risk of digitized messages being intercepted and heard by unauthorized ears increases. That’s why businesses need security systems like an up-to-date session border controller (SBC) to protect against a plethora of voice attacks.

What is it?

In a nutshell, an SBC is a dedicated hardware device or software application that acts as a gatekeeper of your VoIP network, controlling how phone calls are initiated, conducted, and terminated. Much like a firewall, an SBC examines voice messages transmitted as IP packets and prevents unauthorized sessions to the network. This protects your business from call jacking, eavesdropping, and denial-of-service attempts.

But even though most businesses deploy SBC, many tend to leave it unmanaged, rendering it ineffective against new and emerging VoIP-based attacks. To make sure this doesn’t happen in your business, consider the following security best-practices with SBC:

Update frequently

Security threats are ever-evolving, and your security systems need to do the same. Set aside one hour per week to check for security updates and distribute them company-wide. To avoid disrupting daily operations and consuming large amounts of bandwidth, we recommend performing updates during off-hours.

Enable real-time alerts

Whether via email or text, your SBC product should alert you when something happens, when it has blocked a call, and why. These alerts will let you know about any attempted attacks and will notify you when your SBC is due for an update.

A businessman receiving an alert from his IT Service saying his phone call was potentially hacked in Calgary.
Real-time alerts by Bulletproof IT

Assess SBC performance

To find out whether your SBC is routinely blocking threats, make sure to periodically evaluate its effectiveness. If a third-party is managing your VoIP systems, have them perform a security test to identify possible vulnerabilities within your system.

After the security assessment, your provider should compile a report about SBC performance and recommended solutions and updates you should install to mitigate security risks. This allows you to close up any security holes well before a malicious hacker exploits them.

Educate staff

Understanding why you need to update your SBC is a good first step in defending against a variety of VOIP call hacking attacks, but that’s no silver bullet. Aside from technical attacks, businesses need to train staff to spot cunning threats like vishing, a social engineering scam whereby hackers attempt to obtain sensitive information via phone calls.

Installing an SBC is important, but it can give businesses a false sense of security. As we mentioned, the cybersecurity landscape is ever-changing. So if you’re not taking a proactive role in updating and assessing your SBC, then your business might suffer for it in the near future.

To avoid spending a lifetime recovering from successful voice attacks, contact us today. We take the time to ensure your SBC is up-to-date and your business is safe. Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

January 17, 2017
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