sip security

A Brief Guide to SIP Security

Internet-based systems make business operations easier. They also leave your business vulnerable to attacks from hackers. A security breach in any of your business systems can cost $1.8 million in damages and operational disruptions.

A SIP trunking system is vulnerable to these attacks without proper SIP security. That doesn’t mean a SIP system isn’t valuable. It does mean you need to take steps to protect your business.

SIP Connection Security Threats

SIP trunking requires the internet to connect communications. This leaves your phone system vulnerable to internet attacks.

Hackers attack your private branch exchange (PBX) to overload your systems and place costly international calls. This private network also allows them access to gather confidential information.

If a hacker gains access to your system, they can threaten your systems in two ways, media payload threats and signaling protocol threats.

Media Payload Threat

A media payload threat involves an attack on your data. Once a hacker has access to your system, they can set up a payload threat based on specific actions on your side. 

Once you activate the attack, hackers can access private and confidential information from your business systems. This includes employee and customer information.

Signaling Protocol Threat

A signaling protocol threat is an attack on your system’s connection settings. This gives the hacker access to your initiation and termination systems, allowing them to flood the system with calls.

A hacker can use automated systems to take over your system. This disrupts your phone service and gives them access to further data.

SIP Security Tips

Hackers can access your IP network through SIP trunking if you don’t have security measures in place. This gives them access to company, employee, and customer personal information. 

Since SIP trunking uses the internet to connect phone systems, internet security measures are your best protection against SIP system attacks.

Regular Software Updates

Only 38% of businesses perform regular software updates. This means many businesses leave their software vulnerable to attacks. Hackers look for weaknesses in the programs they attack.

Software updates include patches for known or possible weak areas in the software. These patches secure those areas of weakness to protect against these known attacks. This means it’s important to apply software and firmware updates as soon as they’re available.

Set-Up Firewall Protections

A firewall is a system barrier against untrusted networks. A firewall protects your network from certain traffic, based on how you set up the security. Firewall protection helps you decide who has access to your network and under what circumstances.

There are different types of firewalls, depending on what security system you use. The firewall you choose depends on how much flexibility you need for providing access to your network. 

It’s important to research your firewall options. Choose a security system that allows your team to access the network while protecting against outside attacks.

Implement and Enforce Password Policies

One trick hackers use is to crack passwords so they can gain access to your network. Hackers can use automated systems to attempt password access. These automated systems use default passwords and run random alphanumerical combinations to crack the code.

To protect against this, it’s important to create unique passwords with complex combinations. You also need a password policy in place for regular password updates to protect against attacks.

50% of businesses that have password policies do not enforce these policies. This leaves your networks vulnerable to automated password crackers. Regular password updates make it more difficult to crack those codes.

Secure Data Transmissions

When choosing a SIP trunking system, you need to make sure it has layers of protection during media transmissions. This means encrypting the codes used to send requests and media.

SIP systems use Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt the codes sent to request a connection. This ensures only the people involved in the connection can understand the codes, keeping hackers from gaining access.

A Secure Real-Time Protocol (SRTP) is the code that protects the media sent during the connection. This encrypts the code so only the sender and receiver can access audio, video, or text sent. This security measure keeps an outsider from playing back any media shared.

Set-Up Account Authentication

Each computer has a unique IP address. This is the numerical code that identifies which computer is requesting access to a network. This means every person attempting to access your SIP system uses their IP address to make that connection.

The good news is you can restrict access to your networks. This restricted access works in two ways.

If you have an internal team only, you can add the IP addresses for each member of the team to the allowed list so only these IP addresses can access the system.

If you have a remote team or team members that use more than one IP address, you can create IP blacklists. This leaves your network open but allows you to set-up parameters to block IP addresses with failed password attempts. Just choose the number of failed attempts allowed before the system blocks the address.

Set-Up Call Parameters

To protect against fraudulent calls, you can protect your system with call parameters. When you set-up your SIP system, you can create codes to specify the allowable calls on the system.

One way to do this is to create a list of validated numbers. You can make a list of the numbers your network can connect with. This reduces the chance of fraudulent calls on your system.

You can also create call codes to restrict access to your system. These are specific codes that allow access to different destinations. Only your employees have these codes, so hackers can’t use your system unless they have these codes themselves.

Choose the Right SIP Trunking Platform

To increase your SIP security, it’s important to choose the right SIP trunking platform for your business. Each platform provides different types of protections and features. This means you need to do your research so you know what will meet your needs.

Are you unsure about the features you need for your SIP trunking platform? Learn more about the available features and how to get started with SIP trunking.