Voip Security - How Secure Are your Calls?

by : Sacha Tarkovsky

The move to Voice over Internet Protocol (or VoIP) has grown in popularity so to have the security issues that surround VoIP systems.

Security issues are now a major concern of companies thinking about changing to a VoIP system.

Vunerability to attack

VoIP is internet based and this creates the problem of being open to all the attacks that are associated with this method of communication.

It opens up the telephone network to attacks from hackers, who could infiltrate and listen to phone conversations and steal confidential data, and Spammers have the opportunity to target a system with denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.

Before making the move to VoIP, companies need to thoroughly acquaint themselves with the security issues surrounding this new technology and plan protection in advance.

VoIP networks are threatened with the same security risks as traditional IP data networks and similar meashures need to be taken to add protection and security.

Protecting a VoIP System,

Companies should adopt a multi layer security strategy to secure their VoIP systems.

This can be done by dividing the network into secure zones adding protection with firewalls and intrusion prevention techniques.

A company should in fact secure the network itself by putting in place layers of security to protect at all levels including:

Telephones, conversations, computers, and servers.

A sp ecific method of authentication (encryption) should be standard as to should control access ( by passwords and firewalls)

Companies should always look to encrypt data sent for confidentiality, and use call software to establish a tracking of calls for all employees, to create accountability of information sent.

Internal Security

A potential breach in security that many companies ignore at their peril is internal traffic flowing over a VoIP system.

It is critical this is addressed and secured as well.

An increasing number of workers use voIP to communicate with company staff from wireless phones or soft phones and this creates a serious potential security problem.

Therefore companies should look to encrypt voIP traffic moving internally over a corporate network to prevent attacks from within the company itself.

The increasing use of desktop-based soft phones to make and receive VOIP-based telephone calls creates a breach in firewall security that of course can be exploited by unscrupulous employees.

The best way to address this problem as we have said, is to restrict access to the network.

In addition, make sure all inbound VOIP traffic that flows through a firewall is routed through a gateway server, thus eliminating a direct connection to the Internet and all the security issues this entails.

Securing a VoIP System.

Many corporate users are discouraged from using VoIP systems as they feel they are not secure however, this is the same as saying it is not safe to use a computer connected to the internet, it can be secured its up to companies and individuals to do so

Securing VoIP systems is like securing any IP network.

Just as you protect your PC with virus software, firewalls etc so to should you protect a VoIP system with similar meashures.

VoIP can and is secure, providing adequate steps are taken.

Security is a network issue as well

Security is not a server issue it's a network issue and companies can achieve security by placing the above measures in place to make their VoIP system secure just as they do with an IP network.