If your business is now using some form of IP-based telecommunications, phone service that runs over a public or private Internet connection, then you now have features and advantages over your competitors. That’s great. Your business now uses a platform developers will use to provide more features and services over the coming years.
However, since these new services run on an IP network, there are inherent risks. In the case of IP-based telecommunications, you need to make certain security provisions. Your end users may not notice any difference between the old service and the new but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t understand what those differences are.
While the traditional phone network doesn’t have the software benefits of IP telephony, it is a closed network. IP phones operate on an open network architecture. Are you familiar with the term, encryption? Your IT professional has mentioned this term before. Why? Because your IT pro is constantly concerned about keeping your network safe from outside hackers. There are computer systems all over the world that are developed with the express purpose of getting into your office systems. This is why your office should have a firewall device (among other provisions) to secure your data from the outside world. Encryption is a process that disguises your data as it travels through the World Wide Web to other parties. This ‘ disguise ‘ makes it virtually impossible for hackers to get in and manipulate your data.
This effort is a serious business. Computer hacking costs businesses and the U.S. Government tens of millions of dollars in lost productivity and security breaches. More money is being invested into online security every year.
IP phone services are now a part of this same world. This is not to say a business shouldn’t consider IP telephony. What we are saying is make sure you have a security plan in place for your IP phones. IP calls use the same network as your emails and websites. So, this type of phone service needs to be treated with the same care as your other data applications. Think of your new phone service as a data service because, in essence, that’s what IP telephony is. RAM Communications can consult with you specifically on the precautions you need to take for your particular business.
In the meantime, here are some simple security tips
1. Do not distribute login/password information via email -ever.
2. Do not use IP phones on an Internet connection without some form of a firewall device
3. If you use the same IP phone at the office and at home, be sure both sites have security devices in place.
With careful planning and common sense, your IP telephony can be secure and productive.
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