Toll Fraud? You might ask . . . is she referring to someone swiping my EZ-Pass? While that would also be extremely aggravating, no, actually I’m talking about hackers attacking your phone system and racking up massive long distance charges on your account. This can result in tens of thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges showing up on your bill.
Hackers can gain access to your system in a variety of ways including accessing a mailbox as a remote user and start trying potential passwords and accessing your system via the internet (for VoIP systems) setting up users and granting them access to make external calls. Either way these hackers then share the information w/ their networks allowing multiple people to use their newly hacked long distance access.
What can you do to prevent this from happening to you?
- Emphasize the importance of secure passwords to your employees
People are inundated w/ passwords that they need to remember so often they rely on oversimplification, like their extension or 1234 or 5555 etc. While this makes it easy for your employee to access the system, unfortunately the hacker will experience the same ease. Make sure that everyone is using good passwords w/ a level of complexity.
Of course, this isn’t limited to employees. The passwords on the administration of the system should be equally complex.
- Eliminate External Access
If you’re not utilizing External Notification or Call Forwarding features you should consider turning off the external calling options at the phone and voicemail system level.
- Ensure that Firewalls and Network Equipment are secured
Make sure that your firewalls are up to date and blocking all external connections. VoIP systems must have a secure firewall to block access to treats to your systems.
- Work with your carrier
If you are not using long distance, have your carrier eliminate/ block the service.
However, if you do require international calling then add an additional layer of protection. Ask the carrier to add an Account Code that is both forced and verified as an additional layer of security against fraudulent usage.
If you’re looking for help in properly securing your systems, the folks at Teltek can help. Give us a call to discuss your needs and ensure that you are protecting yourself from hackers and receiving a mammoth phone bill.
Teltek is a Certified Avaya Business Partner, NEC Dealer, and Microsoft Partner with two locations in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. We specialize in providing one call technology support for small to mid-sized businesses and nonprofits in Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia and Pennsylvania.