Voip Security

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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One of the worries many people have about VoIP is the security of such a network. Just as e-mails and other documents may be intercepted by thieves and hackers, some worry that so too may voice data that travels the same network. Does that mean it's time to worry or to reject VoIP altogether? Of course not.

The answer, in short, is that you're probably already operating with multiple vulnerabilities. You may, for instance, have a firewall or VPN in place, but that doesn't necessarily stop you from contracting malicious code that's extant on your network. An employee might upload a corrupted file that then spreads to other clients across your network and infects multiple computers. What's more, your phone lines are likely just as open to hacking, should anyone really want to listen in on your conversations. The point is, the same vulnerabilities with VoIP are already present with any e-mail system you've currently got. Do you forbid employees to use e-mail? Of course not. You implement the security measures you can, monitor the network, and behave sensibly about the entire process.

Taking the Proper Precautions

Next, consider that there are in fact several avenues you can explore in order to shore up your VoIP vulnerabilities. If you manage your own system, place your IP PBXs behind the same firewall you're using for your electronic data. Should they become infected, they can drag down your entire VoIP system, and so they ought to be routinely inspected and armed with intrusion-detection monitors. If you have a hosted system, your provider has undoubtedly already instituted these precautions (although you should always feel free to ask about any provider's security measures at any time).

Be sure your provider has configured their gateways to restrict them from use by unauthorized parties. Gateways, which convert IP information into voice signals and vice versa, are notoriously "soft" when it comes to piracy. Hackers are often able to breach their security and place calls on your dime if you're not properly armed to ward them off. If your provider has already done this, rest assured that your VoIP data is secure.

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