The last couple of years have significantly changed the way we live and work. They have also led to an increase in online fraud. South Africa has become a large target for international syndicates. These syndicates are taking advantage of the country’s advanced telecommunications infrastructure to carry out their criminal activities. This was highlighted by the recent attack on a prominent ISP’s network.
Switch Telecom has always gone to great lengths to protect our network and our client’s services. We continue to add features that make it difficult for fraudsters.
The reality is that even with the most sophisticated systems and policies businesses can still fall victim to fraudsters. Recently 3CX disclosed a security vulnerability on their PBX that exposed a number of their clients to potential VoIP fraud.
It is with this in mind that we would like to highlight a number of features that we have implemented to protect your voice services. And we would also like to draw your attention to measures that you can implement within your home or business that will help mitigate your fraud risk.
Use Per-Country Barring to Prevent VoIP Fraud
- We have recently implemented per-country barring for all VoIP services on our network. This feature allows you to restrict international calls to specific countries. By implementing per-country barring, you can limit the potential for fraudulent activities by only allowing calls to countries or regions that you frequently call. The feature also allows you to set restrictions based on the time of day preventing unauthorised international calls from being made outside of normal business hours.
- Hosted Switchboard clients can take advantage of the pin dialling. Pin dialling might add a few seconds to the time it takes to make a call but could save you from becoming a victim of VoIP fraud.
Auto-Provision your Softphones and Hardphones
- Switch Telecom has recently launched our own mobile softphone which we auto-provision for clients. Auto-provisioning allows for the secure distribution of settings and credentials, minimising the risk of unauthorised access to your VoIP service. If you are not using the Switch Telecom softphone we’d strongly recommend logging into the Client Zone and auto-provision it for your mobile phone. Once you’ve auto-provisioned the Switch Telecom softphone, don’t forget to delete the old softphone from your mobile phone.
- Switch Telecom can auto-provision most models of Yealink and Grandstream phones. If you have one of these models and it wasn’t auto-provisioned by Switch, take a photo of the phone’s serial number and mac address and send it to us via email. We’ll then auto-provision the phone for you. If you have a number of phones please get in touch with us so we can coordinate the auto-provisioning.
From time to time Switch Telecom employees are asked to assist non-authorised contacts. We have a stringent policy in this regard and as much as we’d like to help we will not give out any information to non-authorised contacts. We would strongly recommend that you ensure that your Switch Telecom account contacts are kept up-to-date and accurate. You should never forget to remove contacts that no longer work for your business.
In addition to the above, you should consider taking steps to safeguard your home and business.
Steps to Take to Mitigate VoIP Fraud at Home and at Your Business
- Use strong, unique passwords for your Client Zone login and change them regularly.
- Ensure that you have strong, unique passwords on your handsets, modems, and routers; change them regularly.
- You should consider changing your VoIP service password at least once a year. Contact us if you’d like us to assist in this regard.
- Don’t manually provision phones if you are able to provision them through the Switch Telecom auto-provisioning system.
- Contact Switch Telecom immediately if you notice any suspicious activity or unauthorised use of your telecom service.
- And last but not least, implement per country barring on your VoIP service.
For further advice about VoIP security and how to mitigate VoIP fraud, please read https://www.switchtel.co.za/news/voip-security/.
Our team of experts are always on hand to assist with advice when it comes to your VoIP security or to discuss any questions you might have about VoIP fraud. Feel free to Contact us to discuss this.