Securing VoIP systems – you need to pay attention to your IP PBX
It is no wonder that VoIP systems are increasingly being deployed and used by companies. IP based systems can be easily integrated into a business’ existing infrastructure and offer numerous additional business advantages. To protect company data, the topic of VoIP security is becoming ever more important, particularly in today’s climate. To this end, pascom phone systems offer a number of good solution approaches to fulfill your IP PBX (IP Private Branch Exchange i.e. IP based telephone system) security and business communication needs.
Securely maximise your phone system benefits
In the globally networked business world, effective communication plays an increasingly more crucial role in business success. In reducing telecom costs when communicating with customers and business partners at home or abroad, companies are increasingly reliant on an IP telephone system. At the same time, cloud phone systems deliver clear cost savings for business travelers and telecommuters.
While international mobile phone charges can quickly spiral out of control, cloud phone systems offer quick, simple and free anywhere, anytime access to business partners customers and employees. Provided you have a stable Internet connection, you can remain accessible on your business number, making and receiving calls and chatting with colleagues from anywhere around the world and not only on your smartphone, but also on your laptop or tablet.
A modern virtual IP telephony solution not only enables telephone calls but also delivers a centralized communications hub for Instant Messaging and Video Conferencing. Virtual teleconference rooms can be used by any number of conference participants and allow global communication from anywhere, anytime. Thus making a number of cost intensive business trips superfluous. Furthermore, real-time communication tools such as Instant Messaging and Group Chats further help you in dramatically cutting travel costs.
Multifunctional cloud telephone system deployments also support you in reducing office and infrastructure costs. In doing so, you will not only benefit from a more energy efficient, environmentally friendly office environment but can also promote anywhere, anytime connectivity. A classic example is receiving faxes via e-mail. On one hand, this means faxes no longer need to be printed out and on the other faxes can now be centrally stored with other inbound communication media and therefore be managed more efficiently.
Phone System Threats & VoIP Security Considerations
Since data transmissions conducted over the Internet is exposed to a number of threats, companies need to be aware of and implement a VoIP security countermeasures when deploying any cloud or on-premise IP phone system. Well thought out, sophisticated and integral protective solutions are essential for any VoIP phone system, but in particular when deploying an IP phone system inside an existing network i.e. on-premise solution.
However, before we take a look at how you can securely integrate your IP PBX solution in your existing infrastructure, let us first highlight possible security threats to on-premise and cloud VoIP solutions.
What are the threats to On-premise & Cloud VoIP Solutions?
As with all communication systems, VoIP security is not just about protecting against unauthorized disclosure of information i.e. Confidentiality, but also about ensuring Integrity and Availability. These three points, (sometimes referred to as CIA) are therefore considered as the primary security objectives when conceptualizing and implementing any security strategy. Integrity refers to protection against the unauthorized alteration of information, i.e. ensuring trustworthiness and accuracy, while Availability concerns the protection against the unauthorized withholding of information, i.e. ensuring reliable access to the information for only authorized persons.
For VoIP systems, security experts also define secondary security objectives such as authenticity, meaning the “integrity of message and origin” as well as Accountability meaning “availability and integrity of identities and the actions they performed”.
For example, problems or even damage to the company can arise in certain cases, such as if a caller with a false identity surreptitiously gains the trust of an employee or utilizes services at the expense of third parties.
Unwanted caller reactions can also arise as a result of errors in the status of endpoint terminals or within the call itself. For example, a faked “busy tone” or an increased number of callers placed on hold within a call queue within an on-premise or cloud phone system can lead to false conclusions being drawn (increased number of hang-ups, low call penetration etc.) and possibly important phone calls being disrupted i.e. failing to be routed through to an employee.
Possible Consequences of Insufficient VoIP Security:
- Listening to voice data
- Hindering communication or participant unavailability
- Identity fraud
- Toll fraud
- Manipulation of transmitted data
- Negative performance i.e. slow down connection process and / or distortion of voice
- Endpoint failure
How to Increase VoIP Security
Since VoIP systems transport voice data via standardized, open data networks, a number of threats arise, particularly when calling with a cloud telephone system. Conservations in an unprotected system can be easily intercepted and thus sensitive data can fall in the wrong hands.
However, VoIP security is also difficult to implement because VoIP systems consist of many individual components and can therefore expose a number of vulnerabilities. As such, the optimal protection requires extensive and interlocking security counter measures. Bear in mind that the more links in the chain, the greater number of potential weaknesses. Therefore it is advisable to have one single security solution for the entire in-house network to efficiently ward of threats to the phone system - to have more would create a potential weak points that could be exposed.
To guarantee the effectiveness of complex security measures and the optimal integration of the VoIP solution into the company infrastructure, a comprehensive planning and seamless implementation of security concepts is crucial. As not every company has the same requirements when securing its data, determining the required protection level is a prerequisite to implanting sensible and effective security measures. To this end, pascom provides VoIP solutions for every shape and size of business and can refer to and draw upon a number of customer solutions in delivering the optimal solution.
Get in touch with our team and arrange an individualized demonstration and consultancy session to find the most ideal solution for your secure IP telephony needs.
We Securely Integrate On-premise and Cloud Phone Systems into Existing Networks
As an experienced provider of VoIP solutions, pascom’s software based phone system offers a scalable solution which can be adapted to meet the requirements of both small and larger enterprises. The installation process is highly automated and can be performed either on conventional server hardware, within a virtual machine or in the cloud and only takes 5 minutes – regardless of your infrastructure.
At the same time, the pascom software enables you to centrally manage your VoIP hardware. The phone system can detect and configure your IP endpoints such as IP phones, VoIP Gateways and more as well as providing your endpoints with secure, pascom tested firmware. Numerous configuration templates also support the configuration by for example facilitating the registration with IP providers, connecting Directory Services as well as simplifying the import of phonebook data.
Optimise workflows using Wallboards (pascom FlexPanel) to provide various views for differing purposes. As such, it is possible to create and customise different boards for your switchboard or team leaders to provide them with information specific to their requirements.
Further simplify teamwork and collaboration thanks to the useful team function found within the UC clients. Contained within, team members are able to gain an instant, clear understanding regarding current call volumes, availability of colleagues and much more. By assigning extensions and priorities, calls can be more effectively managed and additional information can be provided to team members or individual employees before they even answer the call.
A secure internal and external communications environment i.e. your on-premise or cloud phone system is thus practically guaranteed and extremely simple to implement.
Additional Functions for Additional VoIP Security
Promoting VoIP security is one of the central focuses of our software. That’s why with pascom solutions you can not only make and receive secure calls and create team priorities, but also send data securely and directly using the pascom desktop client. Thanks to data encryption, these file transfers are protected from external access whilst at the same time the pascom client provides real-time information as to whether the recipient has received the file.
pascom VoIP solutions include a real-time monitoring and health check (Nagios) tool per default. Administrators can be automatically notified of system status and critical events, ensuring that effective, efficient steps are taken before issues develop into operational downtime. Further to this, add additional VoIP security and disaster recovery protection for your phone system and PBX database by using to our software’s ability to automatically create database backups as well as generating a complete phone system backup. A further critical element is user / identity management and with pascom phone systems it is possible to authenticate users against 3rd party applications such as Univention’s Corporate Server, LDAP or Active Directory sources. As such, it is possible to deploy company wide password policies which are managed in one centralised infrastructure.
With help from these functions it is possible to not only secure your entire phone system but also select individual IP PBX and network components that can be restored at a later point in time.
Let one of our experience team create an individualised proof of concept for your cost-effective, multi-functional and secure VoIP phone system. Our team will be happy to help and answer your questions as comprehensively as possible – after all VoIP security is just as equally important to us as our customer satisfaction.
Give the pascom team a call on +49 991 29691 201 to discuss your requirements and get started within minutes using our free cloud business VoIP phone system edition.