Implementing a unified communications (UC) solution comes with some unique security concerns because it combines voice services (VoIP), chat services, email and video conferencing into one system. Because of this combination of elements and their dependence on the internet, the potential for security threats against the business increases. Today’s companies must be taking steps to ensure their communication tools are protected from these more advanced security threats.
Small businesses have a unique challenge because they are often limited by cost and available resources to dedicate to securing their systems. However, there are some effective and simple ways to manage security for small businesses that can help to protect the system from an outside attack.
Here are 5 tips to help better secure your UC solution:
Tip #1: Use a firewall
As a responsible business owner, you need to be able to understand the infrastructure of the security elements you are implementing, that means selecting a firewall that offers a simple configuration and is specifically designed for a small business. When setting up the firewall, block all the unknown traffic and allow traffic only from known sources. The firewall will work to sort through your traffic to ensure it’s safe to utilize.
Tip #2: Require strong passwords
Businesses should require all passwords are used with Session Initiation Protocol or SIP passwords. SIP is defined as, “the protocol defines the messages that are sent between endpoints, which govern establishment, termination and other essential elements of a call. It can be used for creating, modifying and terminating sessions consisting of one or several media streams.”
Tip #3: Perform the regular system updates
Keeping software up-to-date is one of the easiest ways to prevent security problems. Conducting these regularly scheduled updates helps with security, but also removes bugs and improves the overall system operations. Regular software or system upgrades often come equipped with enhanced security patches or improvements, further protecting your system from additional threats. Usually, the most recent update is most secure. Always take note of what the system upgrade includes, and if it will require any additional changes, training or adjustments after it’s installed.
Tip #4: Turn off services not currently being used
If you have features that aren’t used all the time, it should then be shut off to avoid creating a viable attack space. Additionally, this small change helps to improve the system performance, as it decreases the protocol traffic running on the network and the server.
Tip #5: Use the system security features
Although utilizing tools like a firewall are an important step, you should also utilize the built-in security features that come with your UC solution for added protection. Typically, systems will provide features like IP blocking which will stop IP addresses that are failing registration attempts from having access. Although firewalls may come with similar features, tools like this can help serve as a backup in case there is a problem with the firewall.
Although there are many more things and protective services you can purchase or implement to further enhance security, these 5 tips should be seen as the initial best practices for organizations looking to take simple precautions with their company information and systems.