There are many benefits attached to using a VoIP system over a landline phone. It's cheaper, easier to set up, can be used worldwide, and comes packed with neat features that improve any business’s efficiency and effectiveness while handling customers' calls. But more importantly, are VoIP systems secure?
Like analog phone systems, VoIP isn't entirely safe and private. While authorities can wiretap conversations for both setups, hackers have an easier way to hack in and eavesdrop on VoIP calls. Since everything is online, anyone in the world can try to get access to the VoIP system and, if there are no security measures in place, attackers can hack the system in a relatively simple way. Consequently, it's essential that companies switching over to this technology make certain they get a secure product and ensure their network is protected.
Is VoIP More Secure Than PSTN?
Unfortunately, almost every day there is news coming out about another security breach where criminals steal personal data from thousands of individuals. For this reason, it's vital to understand whether or not VoIP is a secure way to speak with customers when compared to traditional phone systems.
The major difference between a public switched telephone network (PSTN) and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is how data is transmitted and stored. Analog calls made via the traditional route travel through circuits where it's easy for someone to listen in with basic eavesdropping equipment. On the other hand, VoIP calls are digital and transmitted over the internet, which means that hackers could eavesdrop on phone calls while sitting on their computers on the other side of the world. All it requires is some easily acquirable software and the technical knowledge to pull it off.
In other words, both systems are vulnerable to eavesdropping and interception by third parties, especially if the ones doing it are the service providers themselves, or government agencies. That said, most experts agree that properly configured VoIP systems are safer than typical landlines, especially when considering that the only way to protect the latter is by securing the company's building and blocking access to the wires.
4 Security Measures to Address for VoIP Security
The security of a VoIP comes down to its implementation. So, it's crucial that businesses place data safety at the top of the list while setting up their system.
Get a Secure Voice Over IP Service Provider
With the evolution of the virtual phone system market, it's no surprise that new providers started popping up like mushrooms. This is great since there's now a wider range of choices, but it also means that you may find some companies that aren't as secure as they should be. For this reason, the first thing to do is research and find VoIP providers that offer a broad array of security features and the necessary protocols for your business.
Have a Central VoIP Administrator
VoIP services offer administrative tools that can be locked away from other users. Centrally managed system administration allows you to implement domain restrictions, and enable multi-factor authentication to the administrative accounts.
The administrator will be able to configure the full VoIP system of the company and by reviewing call records they can identify any unusual traffic and restrict call forwarding to prevent fraudulent behavior.
Protect Your Own Network
Regardless of how secure the provider is, if the business network is not bullet-proof, there's nothing the VoIP system can do. Having all up to date software, a good firewall, a reliable security suite, and end-to-end encryption are some of the vital parts of a secure network that protects the organization against anyone with bad intentions.
Create Security Awareness Among Employees
More often than not, hackers get access to the company's network due to human error. Falling for a phishing attack, downloading a file infected with a virus, and using easy-to-guess passwords, are just some of the common mistakes that hackers exploit to get unsolicited information access. Training employees in the art of technological security is vital to ensure data stays within the company. Password managers are also an excellent option to help create strong passwords without the need to write them anywhere since everything stays within a safe vault.
The Best VoIP Providers for Your Business
It may not feature the most straightforward system manager of the market, but RingCentral compensates for that with one of the most comprehensive features' packs in the industry. It's possible to get as many phone numbers, phone lines, and extensions as necessary, and the provider offers unlimited domestic calls. RingCentral can be integrated into more than ten different third-party products and can be accessed through the desktop program, browser extension, or mobile app. All of this for the reasonable price of $19.99 per month, per user.
Nextiva is considered by many as one of the best VoIP providers on the market due to its thorough features, reliability, and excellent customer care. It offers all the necessary qualities for efficient call handling and is accessible anywhere through the mobile app. Nextiva can also be integrated with CRM, billing, reporting, and other business applications. Companies can choose from three different subscriptions, but the cheapest tier that costs $20 per month per user, already offers more than enough to push any business to the next level.
Grasshopper is an excellent VoIP option that focuses on entrepreneurs. It features a simple and straightforward account manager where everything is easily customizable. Though the simplicity comes at the cost of extra features, Grasshopper offers all the necessary tools to handle calls effectively and without any fuss. The software can be used through Grasshopper's website, desktop program, or mobile app, and all of the features (as well as three phone extensions) are available from the lowest price point – $26 per month.
Best VoIP Systems of 2020
|Editor's Choice 2020|