Safeguarding VOIP communications
Voice over internet protocol (VOIP) technology has revolutionised telecommunications, offering a cost-effective and flexible solution for businesses of all sizes. However, with the convenience of VOIP comes the potential for security vulnerabilities that can compromise sensitive information and communications.
Late last year, several researchers began reporting on a rise in attacks targeting VOIP providers. The total number of DDOS attacks in South Africa in 2022 was estimated to be around 6.4 million. Although the number of SIP attacks are relatively small – reportedly less than 2% – they are becoming increasingly common these days, with reports of frequent DDOS attacks being reported in the news.
These are the recommended steps to take to guard against an attack – make sure your VOIP provider is giving you and your customers adequate protection.
Encryption is an essential component of VOIP security. It involves scrambling the voice data during transmission to prevent eavesdropping and interception by unauthorised parties. Look for VOIP providers that offer encryption protocols such as secure real-time transport protocol (SRTP) and transport layer security (TLS) to ensure secure communications.
A firewall is a security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. Implementing a firewall can help protect your VOIP system from unauthorised access, denial of service attacks and other malicious activities. You can use a dedicated firewall appliance or implement a software-based firewall on your network.
3. Access controls
Access controls are measures that restrict access to your VOIP system to authorised users only. Use strong passwords and multifactor authentication (MFA) to prevent unauthorised access to your VOIP system. Limit the number of users who have access to sensitive information and ensure that employees understand the importance of protecting their login credentials.
4. Updates and patches
VOIP systems require regular updates and patches to fix security vulnerabilities and bugs. Ensure that your VOIP system is up to date with the latest software updates and security patches. Consider using a VOIP provider that automatically updates and patches your system to ensure the highest level of security.
5. VOIP provider security
When selecting a VOIP provider, consider their security measures and protocols. Ensure the provider uses secure data centres, encryption protocols and access controls to protect your data and communications. Look for providers that offer compliance with industry standards such as PCI DSS and POPIA, depending on your industry.
6. Employee training
Your employees play a vital role in VOIP security. Ensure they receive regular training on best practices for VOIP security, including password management, recognising phishing scams and protecting sensitive information. Educate employees on the potential security risks of VOIP and how to report any suspicious activity.
In conclusion, security is a crucial consideration when using VOIP for telecommunications. Implementing encryption, a firewall, access controls, updates and patches, selecting a secure VOIP provider and employee training are essential components of a comprehensive VOIP security strategy. By taking these measures, you can protect your business from security threats and ensure secure and reliable communications.
Using VOIP can improve flexibility and simplify a company’s communication systems and network environment. However, like any software, VOIP must be deployed and configured correctly to be secure against cyber threats.
For more information on the Wanatel wholesale VOIP offerings, please visit www.wanatel.co.za.
Wanatel is a leading provider of VOIP and cloud PBX wholesale services across South Africa. The company, with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town, offers cost-effective, white-labelled solutions to resellers, providing innovative solutions to billing, support and solutions portfolios to meet customer demand. www.wanatel.co.za | 086 WANATEL