4 Techniques That Will Protect Your Hotel’s VoIP From Hackers
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony is everywhere, and hotels are no exception. Hoteliers who wish to stay current and relevant in order to satisfy evolving customer needs are able to recognize the many benefits associated with transitioning away from traditional landline networks to VoIP. Even so, there are still some holdouts. The main concern that hotels seem to have is that they will be faced with new security risks that could compromise their businesses and/or the privacy of their guests.
How valid of a fear is this? In reality, VoIP is not inherently a security risk, but as with all communications technology, there are some vulnerabilities that a savvy business owner should be aware of. Any connected device, such as VoIP phones, mobile units, consoles, computers, etc. could potentially create a point of entry into the hotel’s network for cyber crooks. The good news is that these risks can be mitigated and even eliminated by taking certain precautionary steps. Take a look at the following VoIP security safeguarding tactics that will help protect your hotel against any risks.
1. Change Passwords Immediately
You may think this seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at the number of businesses that fail to reset passwords after a new VoIP phone system is installed. Whenever new phones are installed or are restored to VoIP settings, you absolutely must take care to immediately change phone passwords. Even when phones using default passwords are placed behind firewalls, there’s still the possibility that they could leave major vulnerabilities within the hotel network. A smart practice is to adopt password policies as a part of your hotel’s information security procedures and awareness. Make sure that employees are trained and required to use unique passwords and that those passwords are changed regularly. This will significantly decrease your chances of being targeted by cyber criminals.
2. Keep Virtual/LAN Networks Segregated
It’s been noted by Network World that an alarming low number of organizations (less than 30 percent) take the time to properly segregate their networks. This is surprising when you consider that this is a very simple form of basic network protection. Segregating virtual networks by business use can create limitations for a hacker’s ability to access protected information, even in the event that they’re somehow able to gain access to your network.
3. Check Your Firmware
Any software that’s programmed into connected devices (think: VoIP phones, Internet routers, printers, and related hardware) is considered to be firmware. When a hacker is able to gain access to an organization’s network through phones or other devices, they will often attempt to upload new firmware. In doing so, the device’s original content is overwritten. If you’re keeping a good eye on your firmware and taking steps to ensure that it’s up-to-date and adequately protected against outside security threats, you can reduce the risk of hackers being able to cause any trouble.
4. Properly Vet Your VoIP Vendor
If you have a great vendor on your team, you can count on the fact that they’ll be just as concerned about information security threats as you are. If you don’t already have a VoIP vendor, we urge you to make sure that your provider places emphasis on protecting their clients against threats. This is especially critical for smaller-scale businesses that might not have the resources available to continually monitor and mitigate security threats. Be sure to keep in close contact with your vendor to stay on top of what’s going on with cyber security for your hotel.
Security risks are possible with any line of technology, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be vulnerable to those risks. When you partner up with PhoneSuite, you can rest assured that your hotel’s network is in the best of hands. Give us a call to learn more.