For many people, VoIP is seen as a fast and efficient form of communication. It is used both by individuals at home and in the office. There is no doubt that this method of communication is slowly becoming more popular, especially as Internet connections improve. Businesses like VoIP because it allows them to cut their costs significantly. Of course, there are a couple of drawbacks to this particular system. One of the main issues that a lot of people have is security. This is in fact one of the biggest obstacles that is standing in the way of VoIP becoming a lot more mainstream. VoIP has a couple of security concerns that people want to avoid, so there are issues that need to be looked at before you decide to implement it. While VoIP can be worth it in the long run, it is important to understand the risks.
Vulnerabilities of VoIP
Low bandwidth is one of the major problems that are associated with VoIP. In order to use it correctly, a reasonable bandwidth is required. The general rule of thumb is that you will need roughly 25 Kbps for each VoIP call.
Of course, the more bandwidth that you use then the more you will have to pay. If you have a broadband connection working already for data, you will need to enhance that for VoIP. The VoIP service provider will calculate how many people use the system at a particular time, and then arrive at the bandwidth required. If bots invade the system, however, the amount of bandwidth will get used up. This means that people will start having problems and the whole thing will have to be shut down.
Encryption failures are another common concern with VoIP. For security purposes, voice data packets are often encrypted in VoIP signaling. This is to ensure that there is adequate protection from eavesdropping attacks. If there is a failure to encrypt then this can cause a big problem. Encryption needs to be done to ensure that maximum security is maintained within the system.
The physical connection is something people tend to forget about, but that is also an issue. This is especially true if your system is dependent on the weather. Video conferencing is a big thing and is used by a lot of companies, but it can be unreliable if the weather starts to cause problems. There may also be issues with the connection in the building that you are using. These are just a couple of issues that need to be looked over if you want to ensure your system runs properly.
Situations of Fraud
VoIP fraud is a major concern as well and there are a lot of situations where this can occur.If a fraudster latches on to your IP addresses and your VoIP system, he can make any number of calls, and even keep you connection overloaded. Fraudulent VoIP calls are on the rise and the hackers that carry them out are becoming a lot more sophisticated. A number of companies have already suffered from this. Some companies are lucky enough to catch the fraud within a couple of hours. Of course, not every company has such luck. As a result, it can be a concern for those who do not want to lose money regularly.
How to Protect Yourself
There are a couple of things that can be done to protect you from VoIP fraud and hacking. In the beginning, audit your call pattern regularly. Even if you pay a fixed amount every month, make sure all your calls are under control. Take a month end report and get someone to analyze the call pattern. If you see a suspicious activity or a number of long calls to a particular area or number, talk to your service provider and ask for his help. A bit of technical analyses can pinpoint the problem and build a protection from it. It is a non-technical yet effective way of avoiding VoIP fraud.
About the author
Michelle Patterson is an avid technology blogger and writes extensively about IP/VoIP and Unified Communication. She works with some leading companies to understand the trends of these modern communication technologies.