Businesses urged to address VoIP threats

Analyst warns steps must be taken to protect against potential security risks such as voice spam and phishing

Spam, phishing and denial of service could all soon be threatening VoIP services, and businesses need to take steps now to ward off the danger.

As VoIP products and services become more widely used by businesses, analyst Ovum has warned that while companies are concerned with voice quality and functionality they are not considering all the potential security risks associated with VoIP.

These future threats include voice spam, where voice messages inundate company networks, and phishing (or vishing) scams which use this voice spam to gain personal information. Other threats could be toll fraud, where premium-rate calls are made to numbers that benefit hackers (by users, or in the future by bots infecting company networks), or denial of service attacks.

Ovum principal analyst Graham Titterington said although it is not known when these threats will become critical in VoIP, "it would be foolish to ignore them".

Titterington said that this issue will become critical in around two years and although no corporate VoIP denial of service attacks have been recorded, the potential is certainly there.

Enterprises must establish what place there is for VoIP in their activities and start building up defences using filtering technologies now, he said in a statement.