How to protect your VoIP network from hacking

How to protect your VoIP network from hacking

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems allow users to make calls through a broadband internet connection instead of a traditional phone system. This means reduced call costs for businesses that already have an internet connection. VoIP phones also come with various features not found in conventional phones, such as multi-party calling capabilities, auto-attendant, and video conferencing to name a few.

But just like any device connected to the internet, VoIP phones have weaknesses that cybercriminals can exploit, putting your dental practice , employees, and customers at risk.

What is VoIP hacking?

For instance, cybercriminals can use VoIP hacking to gain unauthorized access into your business's phone system to spy on calls, steal sensitive information, and use your VoIP service to make unauthorized calls. This type of attack usually happens when an employee's login credentials are stolen through social engineering scams such as phishing. There are different types of VoIP hacking, including:

1. Toll fraud
Toll fraud happens when cybercriminals use your VoIP network to make international calls. The toll charges for these calls can cost your dental practice hundreds or even thousands of dollars every month. According to the Communications Fraud Control Association, toll fraud resulted in $28 billion in losses in 2019.

2. VoIP eavesdropping
When cybercriminals infiltrate your VoIP network, they can listen in on real-time phone calls and recorded voicemails, and steal information about your business, employees, and patients. They can then sell the information on the dark web or to your competitors, or extort you and/or your patients for money in exchange for keeping the details of stolen conversations confidential.

VoIP eavesdropping usually happens when your VoIP connection is unencrypted or if your local area network is breached.

3. Unauthorized use
Cybercriminals who infiltrate your VoIP network can use it for robocall attacks. In this type of attack, unsuspecting victims will see your clinic's caller ID on their phones. When they pick up, they’ll hear a prerecorded message asking them for information such as their credit card numbers, login credentials, and more. Fraudsters can also use your VoIP service to impersonate someone from your office and scam patients into divulging their private information.

4. Caller ID spoofing
Caller ID is a feature that displays a caller's number on a recipient's phone. In caller ID spoofing, cybercriminals falsify or disguise their phone number to make it appear like it's coming from a legitimate business, government agency, or someone you know. The fraudsters then use scam scripts to steal your money or private information, which can be used to commit identity theft or extortion.

But just like any device connected to the internet, VoIP phones have weaknesses that cybercriminals can exploit, putting your dental practice , employees, and customers at risk.

How to protect your VoIP system

As bad as the threats to VoIP systems may seem, you can address these by being proactive and aware of potential threats. Here are some best practices you can implement in your dental practice to minimize the risk of VoIP hacking.

1. Use strong passwords
Most VoIP phones and interfaces come with default passwords that cybercriminals can easily guess. In addition, many phone web interfaces don't have automatic lockouts to prevent cybercriminals from bombarding them with keygen passwords. To keep cybercriminals out, immediately change the passwords of newly acquired VoIP phones or those that have been factory reset.

2. Enable multifactor authentication (MFA)
A strong password is not enough to prevent cybercriminals from attacking your VoIP network, which is why you need to use MFA as well. MFA requires users to provide two or more verification factors to access an online account, application, VoIP network, and the like. Without the additional verification factors, threat actors won't be able to infiltrate your VoIP system even if they use stolen login credentials.

3. Enable network address translation (NAT)
NAT is a feature built into routers that assign a private IP address to computers, VoIP phones, and other devices connected to your network. This IP address is visible only on your local area network. By hiding your VoIP phones' IP address, cybercriminals won't be able to exploit and manipulate the phones remotely.

4. Choose a reliable VoIP provider
A secure VoIP network begins with a reliable provider. When choosing a provider, review their security policy. It should contain how a provider reports vulnerabilities, a plan of action in the event of a breach, and an accreditation that proves their cybersecurity measures are up to date. Read customer reviews as well; these will tell you how good a provider’s services are, and how well they respond to customer concerns.

Keep your VoIP network safe from cybercriminals by partnering with a trusted managed IT services provider like Pact-One. Our cybersecurity experts will provide your network with multiple layers of security to minimize your risk of a cyberattack. Call us today to learn more.

Be the Dental Practice with Worry-Free IT

Don’t spend one more day worrying about IT

CALL US


Avoid losing your business to data loss. Get our FREE eBook to learn how.Download now
+