Many small businesses, as well as big international companies have adopted VoIP technology and have started enjoying all the benefits it has to offer. Few, however, take VoIP security issues seriously enough and implement necessary protection measures. We have already talked about Asterisk security in this post. Here, we’d like to add a few general recommendations.

As VoIP is an Internet-based technology, it requires protection from DoS attacks, unauthorized access to and abuse of sensitive information, etc. In most cases, even basic protection measures will help you improve the level of security. To maximize your VoIP user experience and to prevent any illegal activity, we recommend you to do the following:

  1. Run a security audit before installation. No matter how secure your VoIP system is, if there are inherent security problems in your network, they will compromise telephony as well.
  2. Install an effective firewall and make sure it is updated to work with VoIP telephone systems. Configure your firewall settings to maximize protection and keep it in line with the amount of traffic going through VoIP.
  3. Change default passwords and use your own alphanumeric passwords and user names that can’t be easily deciphered. Although it is a common advice (and although we’ve talked about it already), you’d be surprised to find out how many businesses neglect to implement this measure and compromise their telephone security.
  4. Use encryption for sensitive information. It will not only prevent anyone from listening to your conversations, but will also help avoid unauthorized and costly overseas calls.
  5. Use different routers for Internet connection and VoIP. An unencrypted VoIP router is an open door for hacker attacks.
  6. Make sure that your user profiles and calling plans are configured properly. Introduce call restriction by users and devices and provide access based on device certificates or passwords.
  7. Make sure your staff is familiar with security features of your system and that they fulfill the requirements in regards to changing passwords, deleting sensitive voicemails and reporting any unusual behavior within the system.
  8. Keep up with staff changes. Delete users in a timely fashion and make sure that all hardware is set back to default before you dispose of it.

By following these simple rules, you can prevent most VoIP security risks. VoIP is a cost-efficient and extremely convenient technology; all the benefits it offers are worth a couple of extra protection efforts.