VoIP Security Issues - How Safe is Your Line?
Voice over IP has become the indispensable face of communication in businesses of all sizes. But the mode of communication has certain security issues that need to be considered seriously. A number of security threats exists among which the denial of service, spit and fraud stand out as most dangerous. However there are ways to safeguard your business from the serious threats.
Distributed denial of service otherwise known as the DoS attack is the most serious threat to VoIP. Any internet connected device and works would be affected by flooding networks with spurious traffic or server requests. The attack is usually caused by machines that have been compromised by a virus or other malware. The whole system grinds to halt and the affected servers are unable to process any valid requests as a result of massive increase in traffic. Certain DoS attacks specifically target VoIP systems but the real time nature of voice traffic means they have a massive impact. Usually the users would detect drop off in service quality and eventually the IP handsets stop working. Even though it is extremely difficult to defend the networks against DoS attacks, business can stop their machines from becoming part of the problem by updating antivirus software and also by installing firewall. The impact of these attacks can be mitigated by maintain good network practice like changing login defaults and using firewalls. Also businesses need to look carefully at their VoIP Service infrastructure and make sure that all unnecessary applications are removed.
Soon after considering the network vulnerabilities mentioned above, attention should be given to potential danger of spam over internet telephony or spit. There is a palpable fear that VoIP would suffer the same fate of the email spam. And one of the major downsides of VoIP spam is that email anti spam methods would not work for it. In this scenario, the potential threat posed by spit is making persuading vendors to develop alternate anti spam solutions. The solution would filter the calls that come in the network and check if it is a spam call by verifying the source. There is a significant area where the malware can pose a serious problem for VoIP users. The biggest concern for business would be the premium rate fraud where hacker enters the telephony system and make calls to the premium rate number. This type of fraud is not a new thing as PBXs have already been vulnerable to these attacks. Such kind of fraud attacks are particularly a menace to the consumers than to businesses since the fraud methods used in email phishing would be honed in voice calls. There are more chances of massive fraud in voice phishing as people tend to simply trust the telephone messages than emails. There have already been some phishing attacks that use a combination of email and also voice for getting credibility to the scam. Even though the security threats faced by VoIP are real, the businesses can ensure the safety of the voice communication by taking proper precautions.
Source: VoIP Service Providers
Published on Jan 20, 2011
Soon after considering the network vulnerabilities mentioned above, attention should be given to potential danger of spam over internet tele...