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Cybersecurity Risks With VoIP and How to Address Them

Cybersecurity specialist sits at a desk with five screens monitoring threat levels.

You need to take cybersecurity seriously if you want to protect sensitive information. This is especially true now that nearly 50% of all organizations with up to 1,000 employees are impacted by cybersecurity threats.

One of the areas you should check for security flaws is your VoIP integration. This article will help you do just that.

What Are VoIP Cybersecurity Threats?

VoIP is a convenient technology, but it’s also susceptible to various cybersecurity risks.

Denial of Service Attacks

VoIP carries your voice traffic to other parties via the internet. It implements the exchange with a client-server network, where it relays traffic through VoIP servers to your recipients. This use of servers and the web makes the technology vulnerable to denial of service (DOS) intrusions. Attackers can exploit network vulnerabilities or leverage distributed DoS attacks to overwhelm your server. Consequently, you may no longer be able to access the service, or your call quality may be compromised.

Malware and Viruses

VoIP servers and clients are computer-operated software. This means that communicating via VoIP channels raises the risk of ransomware, malware, and virus attacks.

Upon accessing your VoIP network, perpetrators can wreak havoc on your system. They can degrade the quality or accessibility of the service, steal vital information, and interfere with or eavesdrop on calls.

Voice Phishing

Voice phishing ("vishing") is the use of telephony to perform phishing attacks. Vishers normally trick their victims into revealing crucial information or performing harmful actions, such as sending money to scammers, over the phone.

Like traditional communication systems, VoIP platforms are prone to vishing threats. In fact, cybercriminals can sometimes hack your VoIP network more easily than a traditional phone. For example, they can use caller ID spoofing to falsify their information and disguise their identity. They can trick you into sharing your account numbers, passwords, and other sensitive data.

Spam Over Internet Telephony

As previously mentioned, you implement VoIP systems as a computer program. Each system has an IP address, which cybercriminals can use to send you unwanted emails – spam.

In most cases, spam over internet telephony (SPIT) takes place through voicemail. The attacker can access the IP address associated with your VoIP server, enabling them to send masses of voicemails. Some instances are merely an annoyance, but others are used as part of vishing attempts.


Phreaking refers to abusing the phone systems of your organization. This is an outdated hacking method, but some of the techniques can still be used to compromise modern VoIP solutions.

A common phreaking method involves gaining access to the phone system of your organization to make expensive calls. A hacker may penetrate your VoIP servers and change your extension list or service plan, unlocking premium services.

Alternatively, attackers can pave the way for other attacks with phreaking. By altering your service plan, they can make their phone calls seem like they come from internal sources. The tactic can help them steal credentials, trick employees, and perform desk scams.

How Do You Address VoIP Cybersecurity Risks?

There are many ways to protect your VoIP network from cybersecurity attacks.

Use Strong Passwords

The cornerstone of your VoIP security is strong passwords. Use combinations of numbers, symbols, and lowercase and uppercase letters to elevate your network safety.

Update Your Software Regularly

Unpatched VoIP vulnerabilities can allow attackers to perform DoS attacks and gain access to your system. To avoid this, make sure your program has the latest updates.

Add Multi-Factor Authentication

As the name suggests, multi-factor authentication (MFA) requires multiple verification details (factors). The most common factor you can use in VoIP is one-time passwords. These codes are generated periodically or whenever a user submits an authentication request.

The most significant advantage of MFA is that it enhances your VoIP’s security by requiring users to verify their identity with more than their usernames and passwords. Although essential, passwords and usernames are susceptible to brute-force attacks and are sometimes stolen by third parties. Implementing physical hardware keys, thumbprints, and other MFA factors keeps your VoIP network safer from cybercriminals.

Incorporate Network Address Translation

Network address translation (NAT) is a feature that assigns private IP addresses to laptops, smartphones, and other devices using the internet. These addresses are only visible to your LAN. Hackers who can’t identify your IP address aren’t able to compromise the network, which can’t be said for public VoIP systems.

Encrypt Your VoIP

Another effective cybersecurity protection mechanism is encryption. It helps ensure the data that travels over the web can’t be deciphered, even if intercepted. This is particularly useful if your clients, partners, and other end-users have important discussions that can compromise their reputation if the details get exposed.

Perform Network Penetration Tests

Conducting network penetration tests is also paramount. Your IT professionals can use this cybersecurity methodology to intentionally hack your VoIP network to determine its vulnerability. Once you identify any flaws, you can remedy them to strengthen your infrastructure and lower the likelihood of real breaches.

Use Safe Configurations

VoIP software typically has different configuration options. Certain configurations can reduce your security, so consult your provider on the optimal solution for your platform. In addition, check your settings occasionally to safeguard against tampering and roll out updates.

Secure Your System With a High-Quality Virtual Private Network

Virtual private networks (VPNs) are a great way to protect your information during internet transit. They’re similar to internal networks, as they create a secure channel for transporting data. Using your VoIP over a reliable VPN protects your system and makes your IP address practically untraceable.

Stay Safe With Robust Security Measures

The consequences of leaving your VoIP system unprotected can be disastrous. You may lose access to your bank accounts, website, and other essential resources. The above cybersecurity tips can help you avert this scenario. Use robust passwords, MFA, a VPN, and regularly check your network for weaknesses.

After inspecting your network, you may find out you need a new VoIP. If so, consult our experts at JD Young to find a streamlined solution for your Tulsa office. Our professionals can work for you to determine a fully-functional and highly secure platform.

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