Safeguarding Your Telephony System

2023 has seen some major data breaches happen to large and well-known companies here in Australia. This has led to companies becoming more aware of the importance of enhancing their business' resilience to safeguard against cybersecurity threats. However, it is important to recognise that a significant aspect of the IT security puzzle might be overlooked by many: telecommunication systems.

Businesses tend to underestimate the impact of inadequately protected voice and telephony solutions throughout their operations. This oversight is not a fault of their own, but rather due to the lack of guidance in this area. Even though a substantial portion of sales are still conducted over the phone, most businesses have under-emphasised the importance of ensuring uninterrupted 24/7 phone availability for seamless communication.

Companies will conduct business reviews that involve a thorough analysis of short, medium, and long-term physical events to assess their resilience and recovery capabilities in situations like fires or floods. However, it’s interesting to note that many businesses do not assign the same level of importance to disruptions in phone services or potential attacks on their IP (Internet Protocol) phone systems. Considering the vital significance of uninterrupted unified communications and the extensive intertwining of telephony with IT, it is a good idea to regard these events with equal importance.

Factors Contributing to Telephony Disruption

Various factors can lead to the disruption of your business's telephone network or IP / VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems following a cyberattack. Some of these factors include:

  1. Compromise of Network Infrastructure: A network infrastructure includes devices such as switches, routers, or firewalls. If an authorised party gains access to the company’s network infrastructure, the attacker then has the ability to disrupt, manipulate, reroute, or disable the telephone or IP system. This can lead to service outages or performance degradation.

  2. Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attack: This is an attack that targets your company’s telephone infrastructure or IP (VoIP) phone network. The attacker’s goal is to overwhelm the phone system with an excessive amount of traffic or demands, so that the system becomes unresponsive or crashes entirely. The telephone system may struggle to handle the sudden surge in traffic, potentially causing a total or partial service outage.

  3. Phone Number Ransom: By taking control of business phone numbers and demanding a ransom for their release, attackers disrupt communication and endanger the company of financial loss.

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  1. Vulnerabilities in Telephony Software / Hardware: If there are flaws in the telephony software or hardware, these vulnerabilities can be exploited by attackers to gain control of the telephony system and compromise its integrity and security. This may involve disrupting the service, injecting malicious code, allowing other unauthorised access, or causing system failures.

  2. Data Loss or Corruption: This disruption factor involves the attacker targeting the telephony or IP system’s data, with the potential goal to deliberately alter or erase essential data and configuration files. This kind of attack can result in misconfigured or non-operational telephony components and potentially cause system failures.
  1. Dial Fraud: Attackers exploit vulnerabilities in telephony systems to make unauthorised and expensive calls. This impacts the company not only financially, but also with customer service and operational disruptions.

  2. Exploitation of VoIP Protocols: If there are weaknesses in the VoIP protocols, including Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), these vulnerabilities can be exploited by attackers. By tampering with the call signalling, the attacker can potentially cause service interruptions or unauthorised access to the system.

  3. Network Infrastructure Compromise: A network infrastructure includes devices such as switches, routers, or firewalls. If an authorised party gains access to the company’s network infrastructure, the attacker then has the ability to disrupt, manipulate, reroute, or disable the telephone or IP system. This can lead to services outages or performance degradation.

In order to safeguard your telephony or IP phone systems from potential attacks, it is essential to implement strong security measures. This can include installing intrusion detection systems, implementing user authentication methods, configuring firewalls, employing encryption, and maintaining up-to-date software. If you need assistance with this, Essential Tech are equipped with the resources and expertise to help.

What to Expect from your Telephony Provider

Is your existing service provider talking with you about the potential vulnerabilities that your business might face concerning telephony? If they aren't, they should be, or you may want to consider a provider that prioritises business resilience.

We recommend seeking a solution that is established on carrier-grade infrastructure, with hosting managed by local voice and telephony experts in Australia. Your provider should have the capability to seamlessly oversee, safeguard, and secure your phone system – giving you peace of mind.

This is why at Essential Tech, we work with Access4 who are an Australian-based leading voice and unified communications provider. Together with Access4, we can ensure that your business operates on exceptionally dependable voice systems, providing you with the assurance that your phone systems are safeguarded to the same extent as your data. The multi-tenanted solution is founded on a resilient infrastructure that incorporates network redundancy, offering our customers top-tier telephony services.

Find a Solution That Works for You

What’s the best voice communication solution for you and your company?

Our dedicated team here at Essential Tech are here to help you find the right solution to suit your business’ needs. The carefully crafted, developed, and award-winning voice communication solutions we have to offer can be tailored and delivered to suit businesses of all scales. Learn more about our voice solutions, or contact us to chat with the team direct!

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