How Secure is VoIP? Understanding VoIP Security Risks, Issues, and Threats in 2022

Напрямки лабораторії GenAI

VoIP phone systems provide several benefits to both large and small enterprises. It includes simplified communications, faster customer service response rates, and higher productivity, to name a few.

Is VoIP, on the other hand, secure?

Specifically, we’ll discuss why VoIP security is essential even if you have “nothing to hide”, and which role the call encryption plays in creating a secure environment. We will also cover the top VoIP security vulnerabilities and what security administrators can do to ensure that your business is protected against these vulnerabilities in this post.

Even if you cannot remove the worldwide danger of cybercrime, raising awareness of and strengthening protection against VoIP security vulnerabilities may significantly reduce your chance of being victimized.

What is the importance of VoIP Security?

Over 70% of senior company decision-makers feel they see a significant rise in cybersecurity threats. However, in reality, the vast majority of CEOs express ‘grave worry,’ as follows:

According to the report, businesses were so preoccupied with fast adjusting to the “new normal” of a remote and mixed workforce that VoIP security became more of an afterthought than an up-front priority.

Unfortunately, many organizations failed to see the importance of VoIP security — as well as the devastating consequences of data breaches and other cybercrimes — until it was too late.

So, what is it about VoIP security that you should be concerned about?

Small and medium-sized enterprises are the primary target

Every year, data breaches and other cyber-attacks affect more than half of all small firms in the United States.


Because hackers are well aware that most small businesses do not have a good security policy in place — if they even have one at all. Small companies are the target of around 43 percent of all cyber-attacks and 95 percent of credit card breaches. Yet, only 14 percent of those organizations have the security mechanisms in place to withstand them.

Furthermore, 35 percent of firms have not even reviewed or updated their security plans since first implemented.

Is VoIP more secure than landlines?

Yes, when correctly set, VoIP phones are typically more secure than traditional landlines in most cases.

Consider the contrasts in how virtual phones and landlines transfer and retain data to grasp the answer better.

Copper wires and fiber optic cables transmit and receive calls on traditional analog phones connected to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). The caller and the recipient are physically connected in this manner, as seen in the following diagram.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a method of transmitting data and conducting digital calls using packet switching.

Voice data is broken down into smaller packets and then transmitted via an Internet connection to the other end of the line using packet-switching technology. Then, they can effectively rejoin and transfer voice data from there.

Eavesdroppers hack into telephone lines and cables (also known as “wiretapping”) to access landline phones. Protection against this is more difficult on landlines than it is with VoIP, but it is significantly more expensive.

In comparison to VoIP systems, landline security is severely hampered by a lack of technology and monitoring capabilities – both of which VoIP systems provide in plenty.

While landlines appear to be safer on paper, VoIP systems give a greater overall degree of security if you use the tools provided by the system — such as VoIP encryption — to communicate.

What is VoIP Encryption and How does Security Differ?

VoIP encryption is used to scramble the packets into unintelligible jumbles, preventing them from being intercepted or understood by hackers during the transmission of voice data packets.

Even if a hacker manages to intercept the call, the encryption assures that they will not make sense of what they have learned from it.

We must examine the transmission mechanism in greater detail to fully comprehend how encryption works.

For voice data packets to be transported from the sender to the receiver, an IP transport protocol known as the SRTP must be utilized (Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol.) SRTP is a cryptographic protocol that encrypts data packets using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), authenticates messages, and provides added security against potential replay attacks. It is implemented in the Java programming language.

In addition to SRTP, VoIP companies utilize another type of encryption known as Transport Layer Security (TLS) or SIP over TLS to safeguard extra call information in addition to the SRTP encryption standard.

TLS scrambles data such as phone numbers, caller names, usernames, and other identifying information. It also has the added benefit of preventing message manipulation and phone eavesdropping.

Keep in mind that a reputable service provider should provide both TLS and AES encryption.

Types of VoIP Security Risks and How to Prevent Them

Packet Sniffing and Black Hole Attacks 

One of the most common VoIP attacks is packet sniffing, which allows hackers to steal and log unencrypted information in voice data packets while they are in transit.

When voice data packets don’t reach their destination, packet loss is caused by packet sniffers looking to steal information and slow service via a packet drop attack (sometimes called a black hole attack.) These packet sniffers intentionally drop packets into data streams by taking control of your router, resulting in a much slower network service or a complete loss of network connection.

Packet sniffing also makes it easy for hackers to intercept usernames, passwords, and other sensitive data.

To help make your Internet lines more secure, use a reliable VoIP VPN option or a virtual private network to send information. It takes some time to set up and get running, but it ensures that data is secure.

Users can also guard against packet sniffing and black hole attacks by ensuring all data is end-to-end encrypted. Another thing is through consistent network monitoring, which will instantly alert users to suspicious login attempts, unfamiliar devices, and more.

By recognizing the most prevalent VoIP vulnerabilities and working to avoid and respond to them, you can guarantee that they do not have the potential to ruin your company. Softphones, intelligent gadgets, and other similar devices all can be vulnerable to VoIP attacks.

On this page, we’ve listed the most frequent VoIP security threats, as well as some suggestions for how to avoid having them harm your organization.

DDoS (Denial-of-Service) attack

As the name implies, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks make it hard for enterprises to utilize their VoIP services by deliberately overloading servers. Unfortunately, DDoS assaults are becoming more common.

Typically, these DDoS attacks result from a botnet, a network of remotely controlled computers or bots that hackers have exploited. To prevent VoIP services from functioning, these “Zombie Computers” flood networks, websites, and servers with far more data or connection requests than they can handle.

The following are some of the most common indications of a DDoS attack:

  • 503 HTTP Error Responses are sent when unusual and protracted bandwidth spikes occur.
  • Service has been slowed.
  • A rapid increase in traffic from devices, IP addresses, or similar places.

We recommend that you utilize a separate, dedicated Internet connection only for VoIP to minimize DDoS assaults. VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks) that have been expressly configured for VoIP traffic are a great choice in this situation, not least because they make it much easier to identify illegitimate or unfamiliar data flows than other network configurations. Additionally, managed encryption is the most effective method of protecting VoIP customers connected to a vast area network (WAN) against DDoS assaults.


Vishing is a type of phishing that takes place over the phone, in which a hacker pretends to contact you from a trusted phone number or source. They do this to trick you into disclosing sensitive information to them, such as passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information.

Using caller ID spoofing, which is how these vishing hackers make the names and numbers that display on your caller ID look authentic, they can purposefully confuse potential victims. For example, these hackers may pretend to be phoning from the phone number associated with your bank. Then they will state that your account has been hijacked and seek your password so that they may protect it quickly, according to the FBI.

To avoid being a victim of vishing, targeted organizations should thoroughly investigate all phone requests, even if they appear to come from the organization’s IT department. Agents must also be taught to refrain from disclosing sensitive information unless their supervisor has authorized them to do so.

The following are indicators of a vishing attack:

  • The person on the other end of the phone is acting with extreme hurry and pushiness.
  • Throughout the conversation, the hacker requests that you validate the information by supplying it.
  • Calls from well-known numbers or well-established businesses that are unexpected
  • On-call screening, short and uncommon phone numbers are preferred. Display of the caller’s identification number

To protect yourself from phishing attempts, do the following:

  • Avoid giving out personal information over the phone to anybody purporting to be from the Internal Revenue Service, Medicare, or the Social Security Administration (SSA) (they do not initiate contact).
  • Become a member of the Do Not Call Registry.
  • Voice prompts should not be responded to by the use of voice responses or touchtones.

Viruses and malware are both types of malware

Malware and viruses negatively influence internet-based services such as VoIP, resulting in a slew of network security challenges. Because of this, these harmful apps primarily eat network capacity and contribute to signal congestion, resulting in signal breakdown for your VoIP conversations. In addition, these also damage the data that is transferred across your network, resulting in packet loss on your end due to corruption.

Viruses and malware do significant damage on their own. Still, they also contribute to future vulnerabilities by introducing Trojan backdoors into systems.

These backdoors create security holes in your system that future hackers might use to meddle with or steal information transmitted across your phone lines.

You may prevent malware and viruses by using data security measures such as encryption and performing frequent network infection checks. In addition, several routers actively block malware, going so far as to prevent access to potentially harmful websites from your network.

Most importantly, put VoIP-compatible software and hardware firewalls that check information to ensure that it is safe to transmit.

The following are some general VOIP security best practices that everyone should adhere to after they’ve completed their self-assessment:

Password Policies Should Be Strictly Enforced

Although it may seem apparent, brute force attacks (in which hackers attempt to guess your passwords) are responsible for a significant proportion of data thefts.

Tell employees to change their passwords at least once every two weeks, to make sure they’re not using the same password for numerous accounts, and to avoid using any personal or public information (street address number, pet’s name, etc.) in their work passwords for the best outcomes possible.

Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi if at all possible

Due to the ease with which malware and other infections may be distributed over an unprotected network, public Wi-Fi is a prime breeding ground for hackers.

Inform team members that they should never use insecure Wi-Fi on their work devices.

Conduct Security Audits regularly

When it comes to VoIP conversations, even the slightest breach in network security may significantly impact both the quality and safety of the connection. In an ideal situation, security evaluations would be carried out by independent and certified security organizations to ensure that nothing is ignored and that appropriate preventative measures are adopted.

The following are some of the most critical aspects of an independent security assessment:

  • Assessments of VoIP gateways – VoIP is transported to PSTN lines through VoIP gateways, and protection mechanisms must be in place at these endpoints as well as at other endpoints on your network to ensure that VoIP is not compromised.
  • Configuration of the firewall – You must configure your firewall to keep out cyber thieves while allowing data packets you send out to transit unimpeded.
  • Cyberattack simulations — These are carried out to assist your firm in assessing its vulnerabilities and improving its intrusion detection systems.
  • Application-based security scanning (also known as application-based security scanning) – An ordinary company network uses several programs to perform a range of tasks, and each one should be checked for potential problems.
  • Software/hardware patching methods should be evaluated to identify any holes in the software/hardware that might be exploited.

Update your software and system in a consistent manner

However, even though many VoIP providers do automated software upgrades, it is a good idea to make sure that you are utilizing the most recent version of all your corporate communication tools at any given time.

There is more to these upgrades than simply upgrading functionality and improving the user experience. They also contain critical security updates and protection against viruses and malware that you may not even be aware exist at the time of downloading.

In addition, they frequently offer technologies to correct packet loss and strengthen weak points in the network.

When it comes to sending security fixes to VoIP phones, the simple file transfer protocol (TFTP) is the primary method used by most vendors. Unfortunately, this creates a security risk since any hacker may introduce a simple file into the system, exposing flaws and giving an access point into the network, thereby creating a security vulnerability.

It is necessary to put in place security measures to safeguard devices from fraudulent patching. VoIP phones must be patched regularly by IT employees to ensure that any vulnerabilities are not exploited.

Final Words

No doubt that a VoIP phone system provides significant help in various stages of a business. However, you should not overlook the fact that your VoIP system must be fully safe and secure at all times.

If you want total security when it comes to VoIP communication, is the one of the leading cloud based communication providers that you should rely on. Avoid being stressed out. Visit Telnum now and our Tech Specialists will be more than happy to assist you!

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