VoIP attacks becoming more common, experts warn

Using or considering a VoIP service for your company’s phone needs? You’ll want to keep in mind these security risks.

Moving voice communications to the Internet puts that data at risk of being intercepted by cybercriminals. Unlike the relatively closed analog telephone network, the web, as IT folks know, is prone to all sorts of security attacks.

According to networking firm Cisco’s latest annual security report, VoIP attacks could become a serious threat this year.

Why now? As use of VoIP grows among businesses, it’s becoming more profitable for criminals to attack.

Also, there are a number of ways to attack VoIP networks. Many common computer-based attacks have VoIP counterparts, including spam and denial of service attacks. VoIP software can also have its own vulnerabilities, and open doors elsewhere in the network can lead criminals to intercept voice data.

Hackers have also found ways to break into a business’s VoIP system and use it to make expensive calls on the company’s dime.

Despite the risks, most VoIP systems aren’t well protected, Cisco says, especially in the case of companies that adopted VoIP before the danger was as great.

Internet telephony can give companies a big cost reduction compared to old-fashioned telephone service — but it’s important to make security an important part of any VoIP plan.