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As work-at-home increases, so do attacks on VoIP and unified communications

Businesses use on-prem and cloud-based unified communications (UC) to connect distributed workforces but often don’t realize the security threats hidden within popular UC services, but they should, and they should address them.

There has been a sharp rise in eMeetings, Voice over IP (VoIP) and other UC capabilities as companies shift to a work-from-home (WFH) model because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Don’t expect this trend to abate any time soon as 93% of CXOs that responded to a ZK Research study say they see a permanent 30% uplift in the number of remote employees.

Survey respondents say maintaining productivity is the top challenge when shifting users to WFH, highlighting the importance of collaboration tools. The right ones can make the transition seamless. For example, VoIP enables workers to maintain the same phone number at home as they do in the office. They can also connect using a desk phone, mobile phone or software client on a computer, which makes the shift nearly frictionless.

Threats to SIP

However, the use of real-time communications does create a number of security risks. Most communications and collaboration apps rely on session initiation protocol (SIP) for data transmission. Standardizing on SIP has created a more productive world where all the UC systems are interoperable. But one of the lesser known facts about SIP is that it’s susceptible to breaches, robocalls, and other anomalous behavior.

VoIP and SIP attacks on carrier and enterprise networks are increasing rapidly. Robocalls from botnets originate from legitimate servers or rented servers to launch dangerous attacks globally over SIP infrastructure.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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