Is VoIP for Me?
Advantages Of VoIP
Disadvantages Of VoIP
VoIP For Business
Is VoIP Secure
Securuity Threats To VoIP
Ever since the introduction of mass communication over public networks, security has been an issue and this doesn't change with VoIP. Eavesdropping has always been the main concern but due to the nature of VoIP calls the range of security risks has increased. Hackers can interrupt voice data using the same software programs they use to interupt other data. This enables them to listen to conversations, retrieve user identities and phone numbers, which means that they can make calls using those identities. It has also been known for hackers to create conversations that never actually happened.
Viruses can be another possible threat which could be designed to overload Voip networks and cause havoc for their users
SPIT is the new Spam for VoIP and stands for Spam over Internet Telephony and will probably be just as annoying as the Spam on the internet today.
Improving Your VoIP Security
The use of encryption or separate channels are two ways in which developers are trying to battle against VoIP hackers. Unfortuneately these methods, particularly the encryption can cause problems with the call quality making the possibility of delays in transmission more likely.
Your concerns over VoIP Security can be eased if you put into place some basic precautions. These are the same precautions that you would use with your standard internet connection - firewall, virus checker and identity protection. As long as you take these precautions you should have sufficient protection for your computer. However, hackers can still intercept your calls, and this is where your provider will need to take the responsibility to provide a secure network.
A Security Checklist for VoIP Providers
VoIP, or `Voice over Internet Protocol`, is the technology used to transmit voice telephone calls over the Internet to other Internet users, or external telephone users. A call originating from a VoIP phone is converted from a fluctuating, analogue sound wave into a series of digital, IP `packets`, which are transmitted across the Internet, and converted back into sound at the receiving end. If a call is made to a phone number that is not associated with an IP number, the call is routed through the standard telephone network.
VoIP Security Issues
The very nature of the data packets used to transmit VoIP telephone calls means that, like other IP data, they can be intercepted at any point on your LAN (`Local Area Network`), or at your ISP (`Internet Service Provider`). Any unscrupulous individual using a network monitor or protocol analyser – otherwise known as a `packet sniffer` – can capture data packets, and hence indulge in VoIP `Phishing`, or `Vishing`. Hackers can listen in to your telephone calls, record or disrupt them, or make unauthorised calls, themselves, using your VoIP service. Other VoIP security issues may include viruses, worms and Trojan horses, in call servers, gateways, and VoIP phones, password, or identity cracking, and DoS (`Denial of Service`) attacks, which attempt to bring down your entire network.
The first step in protecting yourself against any such attacks is a firewall. Firewalls designed to deal, specifically, with the intricacies of VoIP are available. These open and close the appropriate communication ports, dynamically, so that VoIP calls can be made without endangering the remainder of your system.
The next step is to encrypt VoIP packet data to the extent that, if packets are intercepted, the data that they contain is essentially useless. Encryption is provided, `as standard`, by many VoIP phone providers, and additional encryption products are available.
With regard to virus infection, or DoS attacks, building a certain amount of `redundancy` into a system – in the form of multiple Internet, and VoIP providers and servers – may be wise, especially if VoIP is `mission critical`.
Director of eCommerce, www.tribaluk.com
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