Many businesses don’t realise that their phone system could potentially be just as vulnerable to hacking as their computers and servers.
While many companies strive to protect their local networks and PCs from external threats, with the use of virus scanning software and firewalls, they often leave their phone systems unprotected.
There are a myriad of advantages to cloud phone systems, with one key selling point of cloud communications being that businesses can access their data from anywhere.
Cloud-based office phone systems offer easy scalability and reduced costs, but despite their rapid evolution some firms are still reluctant to make the change from an on-premise system to a hosted phone system.
Some of this reluctance stems from concerns about data security and a belief that continuing to use traditional in-house data servers offers the best phone security.
But phone system security for business owners doesn’t need to be daunting.
What are the risks with phone security?
Security threats with hosted phone systems include intercepted calls, impersonation, overloading and fraud, but they can all be easily avoided if you have the right security protocols set up.
With cloud phone systems, many of the major (and complicated) security aspects are handled by your provider, to whom you pay a hosting fee.
So thankfully most of your security and maintenance responsibilities are put in the hands of qualified professionals who are specialists in areas not covered by your own IT department. It’s one less thing for your team to worry about so you can focus on your business.
How to keep your system secure
As well as relying on your provider to play their part, you can prevent many problems from occurring by putting in place phone security measures on your system such as:
Often, the best phone security methods are the simplest. By creating a minimum six-digit password for each phone user’s voicemail, you’re protecting potentially confidential customer data.
For added security, you can ensure that voicemail accounts are locked out after a set number of unsuccessful attempts.
It’s also good practice to confirm with your provider that all the passwords have been changed from the standard system defaults, which are much easier to hack.
Restrict call types
In a worst-case scenario, your hosted phone system could be hacked and calls intentionally diverted (or ‘spoofed’) to premium-rate numbers in other countries.
Criminals do this to rack up sky-high call charges to phone lines that they profit from.
You can use your cloud phone system’s security settings to restrict the types of calls that can be made and received by users by device, location, time of day and other factors.
You should agree a limit on daily call costs and volumes with your provider, so that if calls are made that fall outside of these parameters, you will be alerted.
Out-of-hours alerts can be set up that notify you of unusual call patterns, for example to unknown international numbers, and services can be suspended if fraud or hacking appears to be taking place.
If you’re using a VoIP-based phone system you should have a good deal of security control, and as it uses the internet you are able to easily create a list of ‘safe’ IP addresses and contacts and block any potentially fraudulent IP addresses from interacting with you.
It’s best to agree with your provider who in your organisation will have greater access to the phone system, and how ‘deep’ they are permitted to go in order to change settings without compromising security or operability.
It’s vital to keep your employees and other network users up to date with the security settings, tools and policies that you have implemented. The weakest link in any secure system is often the humans who use it!
If you would like to learn more about how to keep your office phone system secure, Time Communications would be happy to talk through the options, including which hosted phone systems offer the best phone security. Contact Time Communications’ expert team on 0113 2059640, you can request a callback on our home page, email at [email protected] or message us here.