Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology continues to gain greater acceptance as a reliable communication solution that small and mid-sized enterprises (and even large corporations) rely upon. With VoIP’s array of benefits like mobility, scalability, cost-savings, and overall efficiency, it truly enables businesses to connect and collaborate with their employees, associates, and customers in an easier, more convenient, and less expensive way when compared to traditional phone services.
However, just like other devices connected to the internet, VoIP phones can be exploited by cybercriminals for financial gain. Although VoIP is a reliable communication solution overall, there are certain precautions you’ll need to take to avoid being hacked or having your data stolen. When a VoIP phone solution is not properly implemented, hackers can take advantage of the vulnerability to launch an attack that can compromise valuable business data and customer information. VoIP can also be used by the hackers to commit extortion and fraud as well as eavesdrop during boardroom conference calls.
So how can you ensure that your VoIP phone system is safe from potential threats? And how do you know if your system is currently under attack? In this article, VoipReview will help you pinpoint whether your VoIP phone system has been hacked. Check out these five tell-tale signs of VoIP hacking:
1. Internet searches are redirected to unwanted sites.
When performing an Internet search and you get redirected to other sites, this is a potential sign that your VoIP system is under attack. Another tell-tale sign that your system has been hacked is that extensions and toolbars are being added or installed in your browser without your approval. To protect yourself and your VoIP system from hackers like this, make sure that your system has been powered down and logged out of the admin portal when it is not in use.
2. Irregularities in the call history.
Going through the call history of your VoIP phone will help to give you a clue if your system is under attack or has been hacked. Make sure to identify any unusual (calls coming from unknown numbers, for example) in the call history. Also, check to see if the numbers that appear on your phone bills are known numbers or if the calls are coming from a location that you are familiar with. The great part about VoIP is that you can also geo-limit the calls so that any fraud can be easy to monitor. But, if you are unable to find irregularities in the call history and you are still not sure if your system is under attack, then you will need to look for other signs to help you know if your VoIP system is being compromised.
3. Fake antivirus messages are popping up.
Because it is an IP-based technology, VoIP uses the Internet to send and receive messages (either voice, text, or video) to and from different locations around the globe. If you or any of your employees notice fake antivirus information popping up when your VoIP system is turned on, then it is highly likely that your system is under attack. Once you notice these fake antivirus messages, it is important to notify your VoIP service provider and have their system administrator check the source of the messages to find the troublesome malware. In the event that your VoIP system has been compromised, it is better to shut down the system and wait for the technical team to perform the necessary activities to remedy the situation than to try and address the situation yourself.
4. Microphones and webcams are activated automatically.
A great feature included in a VoIP system is that it enables businesses to use microphones and webcams to easily conduct voice and video calls. While this VoIP feature is advantageous for businesses (especially during online conferences or meetings), using microphones and webcams also opens a doorway for hackers to get in your system. Typically, hackers use microphones and webcams to spy on an organization in a bid to collect private and confidential business data (and even customer information) for financial gain. Hence, once you notice that the microphones and webcams are activated without your permission (ie. coming on and going off or recording conversations automatically, for example), then alert your service provider or system admin since this is a sign that your system has been hacked.
5. Sudden increase in telephone bills.
Another tell-tale sign that your business VoIP system has likely been hacked is if your telephone bill skyrockets for no apparent reason. One of the biggest concerns for any VoIP user is the unauthorized use of their communication system. When hackers gain access to your VoIP system, they can easily take advantage of your infrastructure to make long distance calls while you are completely unaware. Sometimes, these hackers also use an auto-dialing tool to have multiple phones access a premium rate link. As a result, your telephone bills will shoot up if you are not able to inform your service provider or system administrator about this issue. This is also the reason why it’s important to monitor the call history of your system on a daily or weekly basis in order to identify call irregularities and catch hacking activities as quickly as possible.
When it comes to business communication, there are many benefits to be gained from using a VoIP phone system. But, just like other communication solutions, VoIP is also vulnerable to hackers. To ensure that your business communication system is protected from hackers and cybercriminals, it is necessary to take preventative measures to avoid VoIP hacking. By following correct security protocols and speaking to your service provider to see what security software should be installed in the system, you can protect your VoIP phone from getting hacked.