The progress the internet has made is spectacular, and with every progress comes great challenges. Since the internet has entered into our lives and changed it. And now its dark side is making its impact on our lives. The power of the internet has brought us to the brink of cybersecurity vulnerability.
From a security point of view, nothing is 100% secure on the internet. Data security and its threats are killing every business and enterprise. And same goes for VOIP phones. VoIP systems can be hacked easily, especially if they are using an unsecured SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) which is subject to bruteforce attacks.
VoIP Phone Meaning
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It uses IP technology to make calls. Let us explain this concept in simple terms as it is a technology in which users make voice calls using their internet connection instead of a regular landline phone. The overall operations for this kind of call depend upon specialized digital hardware or a software program that performs the same function.
What Is VoIP Security?
VoIP is not a single protocol. It can be completely unencrypted and permissive. It can be explained as your phone accepting IP calls from anywhere over the internet. But in reality, the audio of your call can be intercepted by a man-in-the-middle. Moreover, it is a more secure system than a POTS line.
It is becasuse these lines have the possibility of opening a back door into the network. This back door consists of a gateway through the printer of the personal computers. This is known as a spooling. To keep your networks safe from spooling, you need to install firmware and keep it up to date.
We say this on the basis that anyone can open a box on the side of the road. Clips a device onto people’s phone lines. And with this, start intercepting everything they’re saying. On the other hand, if you are using a VoIP system that comes with a TLS or is encrypted with a tunnel, then it’s a completely difficult story to tell.
Is VoIP More Secure Than A Landline?
Yes, they are secure if you have installed proper encryption security on your system. VoIP with SRTP is the best solution overall. On the contrary, copper POTS lines are easy targets for hackers to tap your voices by using an amplifier.
Is VoIP Secure If It Runs Through A Router?
VOIPs are considered secure systems if they come with a security measure. If your phone is connected through a router, then there are some perquisites that you need to consider. Make sure that your router consists of strong security which comes with WPA2 or WPA3 encryption.
Then, you need to frequently change the password for your router, and in the end, you need to keep the firmware of your router updated. Furthermore, a virtual private network using VOIP adds a layer of security that encrypts the data transmitted over the internet. Thus making your VoIP system prone to attacks.
Is VoIP Security Is An Essential Aspect?
Having a secure and safe business environment has become essential for every business. Now that every business is dependent on the internet and phones, any disturbance can simply cause havoc for the management. With this being said, once your business phones are not secure, they are open for easy targeting by hackers.
Every business in today’s world has taken the necessary steps to adopt Secure VoIP Protocols in their infrastructure. The most common attacks that were recorded against organizations are Malware, data breaches, payment fraud, call interception, spoofing, vishing, and Denial of Service, commonly known as (DoS) attacks. Nowadays, VoIP phones are coming with the perfect security so that your data remains safe and secure.
VoIP Vs. Cell Phone
Here are some of the basic differences between a normal cell phone working and a Voice over Internet phone.
They use a speaker and microphone.
They use a speaker and microphone.
It transforms your voice into electrical signals.
It transforms your voice into digital signals.
The electrical signals are then converted into radio waves.
These digital signals use an internet connection for transmission.
Once they reach their destination, they are again converted into sound waves.
Specialized IP phones are used to connect your router for making these calls.
This system requires a mobile phone and cell phone mast.
From the mast, the signals travel to the base station and from the base station to the intended destination.
A grid pattern is maintained so that the call data does not get intermingled.
How to Make Sure Your VoIP System Is Actually Secure?
With so many hacking techniques prevailing in the market now, the question arises in everyone’s mind: How to Make Your VoIP More Secure? For this, we bring you a step-by-step guide that allows every organization to ensure the safety of their data and information remains intact.
· Due Diligence
· Phone Logs
· Call Encryption
· Network Address Translation (NAT)
· Web Interface
· SRTP Encryption
· Voice quality encryption
· Two-factor authentication
· Port 80 Firewall
Here at the first spot, we have due diligence of your vendors who are providing you the VoIP systems. You should place your security concerns at the top list so that they can provide you with the essential measures to counter those risks.
You need to evaluate the system to ensure it comes with all the essential elements required to safeguard your system. And for that, you need to perfrom rigiourous test on your systems to evaluate the performance and the shield it provides against all vulnerabilities.
The most authentic step for the overall security of your system depends upon instilling the safety measures which deemed necessary for the system. Poor security infrastructure of your organization not only hinders the VoIP systems from operating to their maximum capacity. But also, they will affect the overall performance of the employees battling with these threats on a day-to-day basis.
The IT department must ensure that they have installed firmware and other softwares which are necessary to provide a seamless solution to your VoIP devices. Further, these devices and systems need regular updates so that they can seamlessly patch security vulnerabilities.
Phone logs play a crucial role in determining whether the system is under attack or if there is something fishy going on in it. And for that reason constant monitoring of the call logs is essential. In this case, you need to look for the call logs on both the sender end and the receiving end. Further, the IT department needs to search for the consective calls in the calls log so that they can check on the number whether it is safe or not.
Reliability and security are two things that are considered important in determining the overall performance of the VoIP system. VoIP providers are generally reasonable companies with good systems that can provide you with a system that runs smoothly. But you need to see and go through the requirements of your organization first. The one that offers all those with a minimal amount of money is the best option among all others.
The education of your employees plays a major role in keeping your organization’s information intact and secure. Therefore, a large number of companies empathize more with the education and training of their employees as compared to the other matters. Whenever an attack is originated by hackers, they mostly target the employees of the company to gain access to the company systems.
Once you have made up your mind about getting the services of VoIP service providers. Then the most important aspect for you as a company is to put forward all your requirements. In doing so, you can also list down the latest certifications that are being required by your organization from vendors. The list of accreditations is as follows.
· HIPAA Compliance
· PCI Compliance
· SOC 2 Compliance
· ISO/IEC 20071
· ISO/IEC 20071
Call encryption is another aspect that needs to be addressed while asking your vendor about their services. Call encryption comes with state-of-the-art TLS & STRP technology. With these protocols, your organization’s security turns into high-grade security.
Network Address Translation (NAT)
NAT converts your router IP address into private IPs for phones and computers. These IP addresses are only visible to your system. Therefore, hackers can’t track your IPs in case of hacking attempts. Thus offering one of the fastest and most secure networks for your organization’s data.
Compnies are encouraged to invest in penetration testing. This is a task in which there are deliberate attempts to hack your own system. In this way, you are well-prepared against all attacks that are going to happen to your organization.
Companies using a VPN offer them a perfectly secure method for transmitting data over the internet. Nowadays most of the companies which are offering VoIP services are securing the organization’s network by using VPNS.
The most secure encryption against hackers is Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP) encryption. This technology is known for its attributes of being highly secure. This type of encryption is often used by governments to secure and protect their classified information.
Voice Quality Encryption
Recently, there have been some complaints that came forward from companies that they are facing voice quality issues when using their VoIP system phone. This issue was faced due to the fact that accoustics data is not of top quality. For this reason, you need to place this in your top requirements so that the provider ensures they are delivering you the value that you seek.
One of the most trusted and authentic ways to ensure the overall security of your account and logins is by installing two-factor authentication. The two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security to your system hence keeping it away from illegal and unethical access to the system.
Port 80 Firewall
The IT department must ensure that they have closed port 80 for your network. This port 80 plays a vital role for hackers to sneak into the system. To close this port, installing a firewall for the port is the best option, which is currently safeguarding the system. In addition, you need to configure the router’s Firewall also so that the Firewall only allows trusted traffic and blocks unauthorized access.
HIPAA compliance in offering services is mandatory. HIPPA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. They are being used in healthcare services as they contain secure patient data. These regulations are based on the information originating from the organization, which is in the form of voice-mail transcription, visual voice-mai, or voice-mai-to-email attachments.
Emerging Practices That Enhance Your Overall VoIP Security Against Hacking
When it comes to hacking, one should know what is hacking, what is VoIP hacking, and how it affects your business. Hacking is a technique used by persons who wish to enter into your organization’s database to steal precious information.
Now coming towards VoIP hacking is referred to as someone gaining access to the calls illegally to steal information about particular things that are precious and important to your company.
Here are VoIP Security Best Practices that ensure your organization’s VoIP network is away from all the outside hacking and other threats.
· Update VoIP System
· OS Updates
· Identity Fraud
· Inactive Accounts
· Call Logs
· Account Verification
· Crisis Planning
· Credit Limits
· Handle Malware
· Remote device management
· Block private calls
Update VoIP System
In the first step, every organization must ensure that its systems are updated. And they keep on regularly updating their softwares and hardware so that they can prevent these types of attacks. Most Secure VoIP softwares out there in the market provides a seamless solution for protecting against vulnerabilities.
Every organization must enforce some of the policies within the organization, bounding employees for the do’s and don’t. It is for the overall benefit of the organization to protect their valuable information from getting into bad hands.
Virtual Private Network
Virtual Private Networks are used to encrypt data. They create a shield between or camouflage between the servers and traffic. This is a splendid way of making your calls secure and safe from getting into bad hands. On the contrary, there is a misconception in the public that VPNs often degrade the call quality and overall service. But in reality, the case is quite the opposite of this misconception.
Keeping your operating system updated is a crucial aspect. In this form, every system of the organization is kept updated with the recent updates being launched by the companies. Further, these updates are for the administrators to handle; normal employees don’t have anything to do with these updates.
The administrators must look into the data of calls from which location they are being generated and to which locations they are being made. If there is anything fishy, the administrator must look into it and secure the next move towards the location.
Identity fraud is another key element that can get your data out of the bad hands. VoIP phones have the capability to limit the overall access to redirection of calls. It all comes with the services that you are having. Almost every VoIP service provider comes with these limitations that can significantly reduce identity fraud issues.
It is one of the most suitable options that the company should implement. Deactivating inactive accounts of former employees will prevent your company information from slipping into bad hands. Whenever any employee leaves the organization, you need to immediately inform the IT department so that they can remove the very access of that employee to the secure information of the organization.
Setting up strong passwords for your system is very essential in keeping them safe from getting into bad hands. This way, you can make access to the information more secure. Setting up a password must always contain multiple combinations of letters and numbers. Above all, the IT department must ensure that no employee saves their password on their computers.
VoIP Encryption is another way to secure your system. In this section of encryption, we are talking about Wi-Fi encryption. Every company must activate WPA2 on wireless networks. An encrypted VoIP App is a good example to keep the information intact and secure from threats.
The IT department must go through the call logs from time to time. This allows the IT department to identify unusual call logs. Thus making them secure the calls from certain numbers and locations. This examination will allow them safety.
In account verification, you have the ultimate control over the management of the systems. This way brings you not only control but also allows the administrators to control the data leaking by restricting the deivces from attaching to the network. The device IP address is the best example to protect against unauthorized information leaks at all levels of the company.
Crisis management planning is another step in keeping bad things from happening to your data and security issues. For that IT administrators must implement crisis planning in advance for VoIP systems.
There are a few things that need to be addressed right from the beginning. Number one is setting up the strategy for any unseen crisis. In this, you need to train and let your team take responsibility once something bad happens to your systems. Furthermore, this strategy instills the necessary steps that need to be taken once an emergency situation occurs.
There is another hacking type that is taking place. This is called using or charging extra credits from your organization. During this type of attack, hackers get into your system and gain control of your bandwidth. By doing so, they start charging extra credits and changing your plans. This type of attack can be mitigated by reducing the credit limits for plans.
One of the key aspects of keeping your organization and systems clean and secure from vulnerabilities. Your employees must report any issue that seems suspicious to them. The administrators must ask them frequently about any ghost calls or voice notes that seem illogical.
Once a hacker gets into your system using DDoS, which is known as distributed denial-of-service. During this attack, the hackers gain access and start blocking incoming and outgoing calls, along with overloading the entire system of the organization to steal information and block the resources going out. In this scenario, implementing the Firewall to your system will not only enhance its security, but it will also ensure the low latency and reliability of your system in terms of connectivity.
Handling of viruses and Malware has become a day-to-day treatment for IT administrators. These viruses and Malware pose a serious threat to your system and operating systems. The most common method used nowadays for spreading Malware is using emails. All they need is to be downloaded to the system and start infecting the entire system within no time.
To counter these issues, an updated repository must be installed into the system to counter Malware. And you can also train your employees on how to avoid them in the first place. And if they have accidentally downloaded some suspicious malware into the system, they need to immediately inform the IT department so that they can take precautions.
Remote Device Management
Companies must issue hardware with remote device management tools to ensure security. In this way, the IT administrators are able to remove the device from the system remotely and enable security protocols if the device is prone to threats from outside.
Blocking Private Calls
The IT adminstrators of the company ensure that there is no access to international calls. If and only if your company is operating outside the boundaries of your company, the access to international calls must be limited. On the above, the company employees are restricted from calling or receiving calls from 1-900 numbers. These numbers pose a threat to your overall system of organization.
In the end, we must emphasize the benefits of constant training and education to safeguard the integrity of your company’s data. To do that, you need to implement some rules for the employees so that they can never share their passwords with anyone, change their passwords on a regular basis, and arrange seminars and awareness sessions for the employees by making them aware of the latest scams and emerging vulnerabilities.
Common VoIP Security Risks and Types Of Voip Hacking Prevailing
The VoIP phone is prone to hacking. And there are a number of hackings currently prevailing in the market that may be harmful to the organization and its information. We bring you some of the most commonly known hacking types in the market.
Here are some of the most common VoIP Security Threats that may affect your business. In addition, these types of attacks are silent and detecting these types of attacks is not an easy task.
· Call Interception
· Toll Fraud
· War Dialing
· Social Engineering
· Denial Of Service (Dos)
· Unauthorized Usage
This is a type of issue in which hackers use the help of malicious software. In this way they can penetrate into your system and steal all the relevant information from the system which they deem fit.
This type of attack is made with the help of SIP traffic. All the unsecured networks out there face this type of attack from hackers. These systems are not encrypted, and they are not equipped with any type of security.
This is the third type of issue that is being used frequently to target VoIP phones. The robocalls use this type of technique to the voice-mail box to gain unrestricted access to the business’s secure information.
Here is another type of hacking which is very common nowadays. In this type, the hacker calls any of the employees like a random customer and ends up getting all the information that he requires. Furthermore, this type of hacking gets your business-related information into the wrong hands.
This is an issue in which hackers get access to your system and start dialing international calls from your system. These calls are expensive and they can latterly shake your company’s budget. And the company has to bear those expensive international call charges.
This is the most interesting type of hacking. In this, the hacker gets access to the calls being made to the customers and between employees. They listen to the conversation, and from there, they gain access to the secure information that they are looking for. In addition, this type of hacking is possible due to the fact that the network of the company is not encrypted, and anyone can gain access to it by manipulating a few things.
In this type of attack, the hackers have the option of calling your telephone network by using your “PBX.”
Here comes another splendid type of hacking that involves greed. In this type, the hackers normally gain the trust of the employees by asking simple questions regarding the company, and from there, they ask for sensitive information by offering something that they want. In this way, the employees normally provide the hackers with information that is secure and sensitive in nature. The key ingredient for this type of information stealing is the persuasiveness of the hackers.
Denial of Service (DoS)
This second last type of attack is called a DoS attack, in which the overall quality of the call is hit. Further, the latency and uptime for the call are also degraded.
This type of attack preys on users who trust their caller ID. It can be done by stealing the password and network IP to gain access to the system and steal all required information.
In the end, we have unauthorized use of the information. In this type the hackers impersonate any company to get access to the customers. In this way, they get the secure information that they are seeking.
1. Are VoIP phones hackable?
Yes, VoIP phones are prone to hacking attacks. There are a number of hacking attack types that VoIP phones are capable of experiencing. Some of them are DDoS attacks, VoIP phishing, and spoofing.
2. Can a VoIP phone be traced?
Yes, every VoIP call is traceable. Calls from VoIP phones include caller IDs, usernames, and the number from which they are calling. On the other hand, hackers spoof their information by hiding them.
3. What are the disadvantages of VoIP calling?
Some of the main disadvantages of VoIP calling include strong internet connection requirements, no emergency services, and jitter potential.
4. Is VoIP a security risk?
Yes, cybersecurity experts have added VoIP phone services as a security threat. The overall cost of cybercrime has risen tremendously over the years due to the constant attacks on digital systems.
5. What attacks are VoIP most vulnerable to?
The main attack over VoIP phones comes from SPIT (Spam over Internet Telephony). In this type of attack, the hackers use VoIP capabilities to harass the target using different locations, voice-mail notifications, and names.
6. How can you tell if someone is using VoIP?
Anyone can catch someone using VoIP phone services using the CNAM lookup service. These services will ensure the users get accurate information, including name, address, number, and the owner of the phone.
7. Can police track a VoIP?
Yes, but it is subject to legal bindings. The police must have a legal warrant to trace anyone’s calls. This is a type of surveillance used by law enforcement agencies under the Intercepted Communications Act.
8. Do spammers use VoIP?
Yes, spammers use VoIP phones to hide their identity with free calls. This allows them to call 24/7, and they remain hidden.
9. Do VoIP calls appear on phone bills?
No, this is a completely different service that will not be shown on your regular cellular or landline number bill.
10. Do VoIP phones have their own IP address?
Yes, VoIP phones work with an IP address.
11. What is VoIP eavesdropping?
Eavesdropping is a term used to listen and tap calls. It is a technique that allows the users to record and listen to the calls without any issues, and they are not even tracked.
Business phones must have a secure calling option so that the data is secure and safe. A secure calling option is dependent on internal network defence that maintains operational security. And with these operational securities VoIP phones become more powerful and resilient applications.
In today’s world, where everything is based on the internet with no security. For this reason, we tried our best to bring you something useful regarding are VoIP phones are secure? We have mentioned each and every aspect of VoIP phone security in the above sections of the article so that you may be able to better understand things working behind every secure and non-secure line you are talking about.