VOIP: Scams and Security Threats Unveiled


Last Updated: February 24th, 2020

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Guest Post by Rob Stix

Defined by strange vanacular and acronyms, VoIP can feel like an overwhelming prospect for business leaders. It is difficult to understand exactly what services VoIP offers and how they help your business instead of hinder it.

As a VoIP expert, let me share some answers to your questions about VoIP safety:

  • How can VOIP help prevent phone scams?
  • What other security threats are posed to VoIP?
  • What's a solution that can help counteract these threats and solidify VoIP as an efficient and secure form of communication?
  • Is it worth it to switch to a VOIP system?

How can VoIP help prevent phone scams?

VoIP's best feature is that it can easily block calls that look fraudulent compared to traditional lines. If you've had the misfortune to receive a call from a scammer, a quality VoIP system allows end-users to block specific numbers via a portal that they have access to. In other words, if you receive a call from a scammer and suspect foul play, all you have to do is hang up and block the number. There's no need to ever worry about having to receive another phone call from that number again or to worry about calling your provider to report the situation.

Since technology is continuously evolving, VoIP is constantly catching up, making its security not entirely incorruptible, inspiring scammers to take advantage. However, you'll only be victimized if you make indisputable mistakes, such as sharing your personal information while on the line with an unknown number or by never updating your password. These are common mistakes everyone should be aware of when using a technological device in today's day and age.

What other security threats are posed to VoIP?

Phone scams are not the only threat that is posed to VoIP; one to watch out for is the denial of service attacks. DOS is essentially scammers who target your network and flood it with dummy data, staggering the system and slowing it down. By doing so, this attack will open the door for malicious code. Counteracting such an attack can be done by monitoring for insecure endpoints, identifying risk-prone devices, and employing extremely effective firewall protection.

VoIP Phishing, otherwise known as Vishing, is also rather prevalent at the moment. This threat is caused by individuals with malicious intent to redirect your calls to another line, then connect to online scammers looking to suck funds from the caller.

What's a solution that can help counteract these threats and solidify VoIP as an efficient and secure form of communication?

As I've mentioned before, VoIP has yet to be perfected and will take some time to do so due to technology continuously evolving. With that being said, VoIP systems depend on packet-switched telephony to maintain open communications. The very transmission type itself can be at risk of developing interruptions between two active lines. This occurs because call data is streamed in packets over the network, which means unwanted snoopers can intercept it and gain the upper hand.

What we've developed to get around this is with full encryption, active network monitoring and a host of other security-focused features. This security system automatically blocks any IP addresses that are questionable automatically via an algorithm. We also monitor closely calls coming from high-risk geographical areas. 

Is it worth it to switch to a VoIP system?

If you're wondering if it's worth it to switch to a VoIP system, even with all of these threats, it absolutely is. In today's world, these types of threats are common for anyone with or without VoIP.  Overall, VoIP is a fast, efficient, high-quality, and incredibly secure communications solution. It's a sophisticated technology that the world is progressively adapting, leading us all to more efficient forms of communication.

However, if you are still worried about the threats, combine your VoIP system with a cloud-based VoIP services that utilize an internet connection. By doing so, that second line will serve as a backup and your business will be better protected from interruptions.

Rob Stix is the CEO of DirectNet, a company with over 50 years of experience providing communications solutions.

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