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Is It Really Safe for My Company?

Considering the available features and a lower cost than wireless or land lines, it is no wonder that business VoIP is becoming an extremely popular mode of business communication. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is fast, easy, and has much to offer that standard phone services simply cannot provide. Yet many people may wonder if VoIP is secure. It is certainly a valid question for a business looking to use VoIP phone services, with good reason. Anything done using the internet requires special attention be paid to security, including VoIP services.

Because VoIP is internet-based, it subjects VoIP users to certain security risks, such as eavesdropping, data theft, and toll fraud, to name a few. Anything internet-based activity has the same security issues as surfing online or visiting unsecured websites. Although most users are unlikely to face any kind of data theft through VoIP, the incidence of privacy issues is rising with VoIP use.

One reason for this that many fail to remember when considering VoIP merely a phone service is that it is still uses the internet. Therefore, VoIP system communications must be protected just like computers and network systems. Without proper protection, digital VoIP data can be stolen just like any other digital information.

Encryption is Essential

Whether using the internet by itself or with VoIP phone services, encryption is one of the best means of data protection. Some business VoIP services are encrypted, while others are not. Before signing any type of contract with a VoIP service provider, a business should determine whether the provider is encrypted. If the provider is not, the choice is to either employ end-user encryption or look for another service provider. Encryption protects sensitive information like phone numbers, passwords, and actual voice data.

Protect the Weakest Link - The Computer

Call encryption must be used with VoIP; however, the weakest link to any data breach is usually a user’s computer. VoIP can be affected the same as a computer, i.e. through malicious programs, hacking, and other means of data theft. For the most secure VoIP system, a company must also have a secure network and user system with firewalls, malware protection, complete network protection, and overall safe internet habits.

Other Ways to Protect VoIP

System and call encryption, as well as system protection, can protect VoIP calls. Restricting call usage to certain hours or restricting contact to certain numbers can also help prevent tapping. This can also be accomplished by controlling access with device certificates and passwords. VoIP traffic can be monitored with intrusion prevention systems (IPS). Two-factor authentication and administration of VoIP service can also be activated. Application downloads on company telephones using VoIP can be limited or restricted.

Business VoIP users must realize that their phone calls are only as secure as their computers; however, VoIP phone services can be very secure by employing the techniques referenced above. It is important for a business to understand that any digital phone service using the internet has the same security risks as the company computer system; so both must be protected in the same way. Any company interested in internet-based phone services should discuss any risks and security needs with an IT services provider. Then using a VoIP system offering the necessary level of protection can be the right choice for any business!

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1100 Walker’s Line, Suite 501
Burlington, Ontario
L7N 2G3