Emerging technologies always tend to have intimidating sounding names, don’t they? VoIP is one such technology. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, which is an extremely fancy way of saying “using the internet as your telephone instead of a landline”. And with intimidating-sounding new technologies come even more intimidating security concerns and those definitely bear talking about. If you’re interested in a VoIP solution, wholesale telecommunications service providers like www.ivox.com.au/ can provide advice on your specific situation. Before you call, here’s a few insight into safety and security issues surrounding VoIP, starting with one of the most common uses.
Skype is the most widespread version of VoIP there is, coming as pack-in software on every new Windows laptop. Skype has been known to possess its share of security flaws, found mainly in the drivers it utilises within the Windows system. These flaws can potentially give hackers access to any information sent over the Skype network. It also allows law enforcement agencies to eavesdrop on any given Skype call without court approval. Skype is an effective, inexpensive VoIP option but it is far from secure.
4. Interfacing with Security Systems
VoIP has, on occasion, been known to clash with security systems like network firewalls. Older firewalls can struggle with VoIP as they’re unable to tell the difference between voice traffic and regular data traffic. They treat everything as the latter, which can lead to slow down and call interruptions. The easiest way to combat this is to ensure that your firewall software is always up to date and can distinguish between voice and data traffic.
3. Packet Capture
Packet capture is a feature found in some VoIP equipment that allows IT staff to trace where data is going and analyse network performance. It helps to identify potential data bottlenecks and keeps data flowing smoothly so your calls don’t break up. In the wrong hands though, features such as these can be used by outsiders to snoop around different networks looking for sensitive information like passwords.
The most effective way to head off any attack on your voice network is through incorporation of privacy and encryption software into the IP network architecture. That’s a complicated sentence, but your IT guys will be all over it. Some VoIP providers now provide already-encrypted VoIP services, making you far safer from jump.
1. Emergency calls
There’s a rumour that calls from VoIP services are not recognised by 000 emergency services, as VoIP phone numbers are no longer part of the public number database. This is straight up nonsense. Various ISPs have worked with the related regulatory bodies to ensure that VoIP calls to emergency services are treated the same way as calls from mobiles.
VoIP can have any number of vulnerabilities ready to be exploited, just like any computer system. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good option though. It’s about thinking ahead and being proactive in maintaining your security systems. We live in an age where the misappropriation of digital information is rife. VoIP is only as safe as the network you are running it on. Do you use VoIP in your workplace? What security measures did you put in place? Have your say in the comments below!