With the massive adoption of VOIP by businesses, IP telephony is good news to cyber rogues. From tapping your calls and spying on your messages, IP telephony unlocks a treasure of priceless information.

Vast amounts of precious information are in government agencies, finance organizations, private service companies, and call agencies. Cyberpirates mine your call numbers, bank details, and crucial personal information.

Phone pirates take pride in toll fraud. They can access your call control in the sip gateway, and generate thousands of dollars in spam calls to international numbers in a short period.

The consequences of not encrypting your VoIP devices are crippling. Various reports show that cybercrime will set businesses back by $ 6 trillion by 2021. From DDoS attacks to a phishing scam in IT infrastructure, businesses fail to consider how telecoms factor into their aching cybersecurity strategy.

Some VoIP providers do not offer encrypted VoIP technology. but all clients do not insist on encrypted services. It is because encryption comes at a cost and further weighs down the bandwidth.

Bandwidth being expensive, organizations ignore security concerns. Encryption can increase latency and reduce data packets transfer speeds. Directing data streams across routers and firewalls is hard enough. Encryption adds another level of intricacy.

Why Voice over Internet Protocol Encryption?

Encryption is the ideal solution for maintaining operational efficiency when using voice over IP technology. With encryption, it is impossible for hackers to manipulate packets of data relayed via the IP network. A managed it services provider can help with your business’s VoIP protocol is 

Encryption is vital as many businesses are seeking compliance with regulatory bodies like Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and GDPR. VoIP encryption safeguards the IP telephony system, data and voice signals relayed via the internet.

Some threats and disruptions that can swoop on your VoIP network if not secured and encrypted include:

Data and voice disruptions: This can further be subdivided into;

  • VoIP call data flood
  • Service disruption
  • VoIP control packet and VoIP data flood
  • VoIP implementation DoS exploit
  • TCP/UDP/ICMP packet flood

VoIP service and data threats: This can be further categorized into;

  • VoIP packet customization
  • ARP Cache poisoning
  • Network spying
  • VLAN customization
  • VoIP voicemail hacks
  • Address spoofing

Depending on your equipment’s set up, you can configure and encrypt two different applications.

If your company has several PSTN portals and sites, you need to consider encrypting all conceivable call logs at your main office. And all other distant offices including voice gateways to ensure all packets traversing the WAN/VPN and LAN are secure and encrypted.

Here are the VoIP encoding configuration approaches at your disposal:

SIP Signaling encryption using Transport layer security (TLS)

TLS encryption can help secure communication between two applications. The primary goal of TLS protocol is data integrity and provision of privacy between two communicating devices.

Because, in the course of the call set up, vital information relayed between the client and the server including passwords, personal details like calling number and usernames. TLS makes the crucial information indecipherable.

With TLS, the client/server systems communicate in a safeguarded way that prevents tampering, message forgery, or spying into your conversation. When you configure TLS on your gadget, the gadget will only allow communication from devices with reliable sip signalling.

This requires the client to first set up a TLS/SSL connection to the server then exchange encrypted sip messages via a secure connection.

TLS is a secure connection based on a security certificate which is like a secret code known to both the client and the server only.  It enables each party to identify themselves before communicating making it difficult for an attacker to manipulate the communication.

SRTP (secure real-time transport protocol)

TLS is a secure connection based on a security certificate which is like a secret code known to both the client and the server only.  It enables each party to identify themselves before communicating making it difficult for an attacker to manipulate the communication.SRTP (secure real-time transport protocol)

VoIP applications can encrypt audio devices using a transport protocol, STP to secure media communications. SRTP is an encrypted version of RTP and uses UDP (user datagram protocol) as its transport protocol.

SRTP is a cryptographic protocol. SRTP applies algorithms which encrypt and secure your relayed information. SRTP enhances message authentication, confidentiality and replay protection to the protocol.

SRTP is the ideal encryption channel for VoIP traffic. SRTP uses AES (advanced encryption standard) to secure voice over IP media. And integrates with header compression while affecting IP quality service.

With SRTP, you get a unique keystream for every RTP packet of service. This key makes it impossible for eavesdroppers to recover the original RTP stream from the encrypted SRTP stream.  AES is like the protocol used by financial institutions, the US government and other international organizations to secure and safeguard their information.

SRTP guarantees you of low packet expansion and high throughput due to the fast-stream ciphers used for encryption, global hash functions to authenticate your messages, and an entire index to synchronize data.

The main goals of SRTP when it comes to securing your communication are to safeguard the RTP payload’s confidentiality, secure the integrity of the entire RTP packet and complete verification of the header. It is advisable to use TLS with STRP to maximize on VoIP encryption for all VoIP equipment.

Authorization

This is a feature in your VoIP device that can enhance security. You can configure your device to only allow traffic from specific IP addresses. Here you restrict the type of data and calls transmitted through the network by application, user and other specific criteria of your choice.

This way you can shield your device from denial of service attacks by using dos mitigation devices or techniques.

Summary

For decades, businesses have depended on ISDN technology, but with shifts in software advancements, they are now embracing the new world of VoIP which offers many rewards. But with it also comes many dangers in data security violation lurking around with online attackers ready to pounce on your data and manipulate it.  

The precautions upheld when securing computer systems, servers, mobile phones, and various network systems are also required for VoIP. It is crucial for Business to ensure their data, equipment, and transmissions at all times.