What are the ownership costs of VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems are a cost-effective way to improve business communication, as they are billed at a standard monthly fee. But aside from the monthly bill, your VoIP system will also come with other costs of ownership that you should know about.

Upfront costs

Upfront costs are largely determined by the manner in which you acquire your systems, such as whether you buy a VoIP system outright or rent it from a third party. Although the former carries a steep upfront cost, payment does not continue indefinitely. This makes sense for large, fully staffed corporations with massive budgets. Meanwhile, the latter option is better for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that prefer to pay a small monthly subscription rather than make a huge initial investment.

Beyond the price of the VoIP package, upfront costs also include additional costs like headsets, webcams, and a higher-bandwidth network connection to ensure crystal-clear, uninterrupted calls.

Implementation costs

Implementation costs include the fees of consultants or managed IT services providers that design, deploy, and configure your VoIP system. And if you’re installing a completely new phone system, you also need to factor in costs associated with training employees on how to use the VoIP system effectively and securely.

Operational costs

This covers monthly recurring costs of voice and data plans. For example, some service providers charge local and long-distance calls per minute, while others offer unlimited local calls for a fixed monthly fee.

If you’re managing your VoIP infrastructure yourself, you also have to take into account monthly power, cooling, and maintenance fees. If you opt for hosted VoIP services, however, you are only billed for maintenance.

Upgrade costs

You should also need to set aside some room in your budget for VoIP upgrades. For instance, you may need to integrate customer relationship management (CRM) software with VoIP to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction. Aside from the cost of the upgrade itself, you should also anticipate spending on consultation, as upgrade integrations have a better chance at success if deployed by experts.

Evaluating all the costs that apply to your business will give you a clear idea of how much you can expect to pay for your VoIP system. If you’re having difficulty calculating the actual costs of VoIP implementation, call our experts today. We’ll help you figure out which VoIP solution is most ideal for your business and budget.

This post was originally published on this site

Protect your VoIP systems against denial-of-service attacks

Telephony systems are crucial to business communications and operations and therefore need to be highly secure. Although malware and viruses are some of the most common threats to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems, there are other little-known threats too, such as denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. If your business heavily relies on VoIP, you should learn how to protect it from DoS attacks.

Denial-of-service attacks

The end goal of any DoS attack is to overwhelm a system with so many requests that it is eventually forced to shut down. Telephony DoS (TDoS) attack is a subcategory leveled at VoIP systems. Alarmingly, this attack is commonly used against hospitals and 911 phone lines. Some TDoS attackers even demand a ransom to halt the attack, which is similar to ransomware attacks. They take advantage of cryptocurrencies and caller-ID spoofing to make it incredibly difficult to identify attackers.

TDoS attacks generally employ fewer resources than the DoS attacks that are designed to cripple IT systems, which include networks, servers, and software. At its most basic, a TDoS attack requires only an automated phone dialer that calls a target phone number and hangs up — over and over. That very simple strategy can stop anyone else from getting through the line.

What organizations need to do

While your first instinct may be to lock down your VoIP system with complicated security measures, doing so will only do more harm than good. Most businesses can’t operate if they can’t communicate with their customers, business partners, and other third parties.

Although VoIP may be a digital resource similar to other components within your IT systems, the very nature of phone lines makes hiding them behind firewalls and other protections impossible. Fortunately, there are now new security protocols that can protect your communication infrastructure against those who try to use force to gain access to your directory information. These protocols can also identify, reroute, and filter calls coming from known attackers. Get in touch with our team to learn more about these protocols.

If you’re experiencing any abnormalities with your VoIP system, or if you want to deploy the most advanced solution that the market has to offer, our expert team of IT professionals is ready to help you at the drop of a hat — just call today.

This post was originally published on this site

Protect your VoIP systems against denial-of-service attacks

Telephony systems are crucial to business communications and operations and therefore need to be highly secure. Although malware and viruses are some of the most common threats to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems, there are other little-known threats too, such as denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. If your business heavily relies on VoIP, you should learn how to protect it from DoS attacks.

Denial-of-service attacks

The end goal of any DoS attack is to overwhelm a system with so many requests that it is eventually forced to shut down. Telephony DoS (TDoS) attack is a subcategory leveled at VoIP systems. Alarmingly, this attack is commonly used against hospitals and 911 phone lines. Some TDoS attackers even demand a ransom to halt the attack, which is similar to ransomware attacks. They take advantage of cryptocurrencies and caller-ID spoofing to make it incredibly difficult to identify attackers.

TDoS attacks generally employ fewer resources than the DoS attacks that are designed to cripple IT systems, which include networks, servers, and software. At its most basic, a TDoS attack requires only an automated phone dialer that calls a target phone number and hangs up — over and over. That very simple strategy can stop anyone else from getting through the line.

What organizations need to do

While your first instinct may be to lock down your VoIP system with complicated security measures, doing so will only do more harm than good. Most businesses can’t operate if they can’t communicate with their customers, business partners, and other third parties.

Although VoIP may be a digital resource similar to other components within your IT systems, the very nature of phone lines makes hiding them behind firewalls and other protections impossible. Fortunately, there are now new security protocols that can protect your communication infrastructure against those who try to use force to gain access to your directory information. These protocols can also identify, reroute, and filter calls coming from known attackers. Get in touch with our team to learn more about these protocols.

If you’re experiencing any abnormalities with your VoIP system, or if you want to deploy the most advanced solution that the market has to offer, our expert team of IT professionals is ready to help you at the drop of a hat — just call today.

This post was originally published on this site

Protect your network against VoIP theft of service

As with any communication that takes place over the internet, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls have a raft of security risks. One of these is theft of service. Read on to learn more about this type of VoIP-related fraud, and how you can protect your organization against it.

What is theft of service?

VoIP theft of service is the most common type of VoIP fraud. At its most basic level, it involves the theft of your organization’s VoIP account credentials, including usernames and passwords, either by eavesdropping or by introducing malware into your system. Once cybercriminals gain access to your account, they can freely make phone calls or change your call plans, running up your VoIP bill.

In addition, cybercriminals may use the stolen data to carry out other fraudulent activities. They can also use theft of service to flood your VoIP network with promotional calls similar to junk email via an attack called spam over internet telephony, or SPIT. Once they infiltrate your communications network, they might broadcast unsolicited messages or advertisements over your VoIP system. This keeps users from making or receiving calls, which can have a significant impact on your business’s operations.

How can you avoid theft of service?

Preventing VoIP theft of service simply requires using a little common sense and implementing some technical preventive measures.

  1. Make your passwords as secure as possible. Passwords must be 8–12 characters long, consisting of a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. For added security, use passphrases, which are sentence-like strings of words. They’re usually longer than passwords, easier to remember, and more difficult to crack.
  2. Install firmware patches for your VoIP phones and infrastructure regularly, and keep your antivirus software up to date.
  3. Use fraudulent call routing detection and encryption software.
  4. Set up an enterprise-grade virtual private network (VPN) for employees working from home. A VPN encrypts incoming and outgoing traffic without compromising call quality.
  5. Review your organization’s call logs for any unusual trends or behavior, such as higher-than-usual call volumes or calls made during off-hours.

VoIP is an essential business communication tool, so it makes sense to understand what theft of service is to avoid its impacts on your company’s operations. For more information and useful tips on how to keep your VoIP system secure, drop us a line today.

This post was originally published on this site

Protect your network against VoIP theft of service

As with any communication that takes place over the internet, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls have a raft of security risks. One of these is theft of service. Read on to learn more about this type of VoIP-related fraud, and how you can protect your organization against it.

What is theft of service?

VoIP theft of service is the most common type of VoIP fraud. At its most basic level, it involves the theft of your organization’s VoIP account credentials, including usernames and passwords, either by eavesdropping or by introducing malware into your system. Once cybercriminals gain access to your account, they can freely make phone calls or change your call plans, running up your VoIP bill.

In addition, cybercriminals may use the stolen data to carry out other fraudulent activities. They can also use theft of service to flood your VoIP network with promotional calls similar to junk email via an attack called spam over internet telephony, or SPIT. Once they infiltrate your communications network, they might broadcast unsolicited messages or advertisements over your VoIP system. This keeps users from making or receiving calls, which can have a significant impact on your business’s operations.

How can you avoid theft of service?

Preventing VoIP theft of service simply requires using a little common sense and implementing some technical preventive measures.

  1. Make your passwords as secure as possible. Passwords must be 8–12 characters long, consisting of a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. For added security, use passphrases, which are sentence-like strings of words. They’re usually longer than passwords, easier to remember, and more difficult to crack.
  2. Install firmware patches for your VoIP phones and infrastructure regularly, and keep your antivirus software up to date.
  3. Use fraudulent call routing detection and encryption software.
  4. Set up an enterprise-grade virtual private network (VPN) for employees working from home. A VPN encrypts incoming and outgoing traffic without compromising call quality.
  5. Review your organization’s call logs for any unusual trends or behavior, such as higher-than-usual call volumes or calls made during off-hours.

VoIP is an essential business communication tool, so it makes sense to understand what theft of service is to avoid its impacts on your company’s operations. For more information and useful tips on how to keep your VoIP system secure, drop us a line today.

This post was originally published on this site