Today, there are more SMEs than ever making heavy use of new technologies to cut costs and increase efficiency across all areas of their business. With this, however, comes an increasingly persistent risk of hacking and breaches of security that have the potential to cripple smaller businesses. A recent report has found that many of these small businesses carry misconceptions around cyber protection, resulting in a lack of security which leaves their organisations open to massive hacking losses that last year cost UK businesses between £65,000 and £115,000.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is one of the rising technologies that many SMEs are now using in order to cut call costs. Alongside cloud computing, VoIP is a key component in today’s flexible, low cost infrastructure that is supporting business agility and growth. By implementing VoIP, small firms are helping to reduce costs and create a more efficient business, however this now needs to include proactive security measures.
Whilst businesses are increasingly confident in deploying these technologies, far too many are failing to fully understand the associated risks, placing themselves in a hazardous situation. VoIP is not just a new, lower cost telephone system; it’s using the Internet data connection to provide a voice service – and should be treated as such in terms of security and usage policies.
Traditionally, voice Firewalls that secure VoIP have been expensive solutions that require dedicated hardware implementation. It’s therefore not surprising that a quarter of small businesses think that cyber security is too expensive to implement and a fifth admit they “don’t know where to start”.
As a result, SMEs aware of the risk have generally ignored it; while resellers have felt compelled to downplay the risk because bundling security into the VoIP package resulted in an uncompetitive offer.
VoIP is hugely compelling and with the rise in excellent broadband connections, growing numbers of SMEs will opt for this low cost approach. However, any Internet related deployment demands security – and it is only by applying the same level of rigour to voice security that has virtually become standard practice across data networks, that SMEs will truly gain the value of VoIP. Without this, businesses run the risk and repercussions of damaging breaches or call jacking.
by Paul German, CEO, VoipSec
VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol.Voice over Internet Protocol is a category of hardware and software that enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls by sending voice data in packets using IP rather than by traditional circuit transmissions of the PSTN. VoIP takes analog audio signals from your phone and turns them into digital data, and transfers them over the Internet. VoIP works just like a regular phone, but instead of using the high priced telephone company’s wiring, VoIP routes your phone calls directly to your telephone using your high speed internet connection.