UC Threats: Safeguarding critical business communications
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UC Threats: Safeguarding critical business communications

Take a moment to consider all the sensitive information being transferred over your company’s unified communications systems. From chat and email to file sharing and remote access, a significant amount of sensitive data is sent and received by your UC users daily, not to mention the delicate conversations that take place over VoIP and video conferencing.

In this way, any threat to your Unified communications (UC) technology can become a risk for your business data and intellectual property. The first step in addressing these issues is to be aware of them. Let’s take a look at some of the top UC threats impacting company communications today and learn how to safeguard against them.

Toll fraud

Unfortunately, this attack is nothing new, but is still enabling malicious actors to rack up profits. As Avoxi contributor Kevin Robinson reported, toll fraud has been happening since the 1970s, and in 2015, there were $38.1 billion in losses associated with these attacks.

Toll fraud consists of PBX and IP PBX hacking, and subscription fraud at the application and identity level. Thankfully, these types of call system intrusions can be avoided through an in-depth topography of the network and communications systems, use of robust passwords and consistent backups of important data.

Lack of encryption

In addition to breaching PBX call systems, attackers also look for a lack of encryption to snoop and steal other sensitive data from unprotected UC solutions. Without encryption in place, all items and information transmitted over UC platforms appear in plain text, even to those who don’t have access to credentials for the systems.

Proper unified communications security is more imperative than ever.

Proper unified communications security is more imperative than ever.

Proper unified communications security is more imperative than ever.

All business communications should be safeguarded by encryption protection. This ensures that even if a black hat actor is able to break into a communication application, the sensitive information being shared and discussed is unreadable – and therefore unusable – to the hacker.

Business email compromise

This is one of the most pressing and potentially costly threats to UC today. The FBI reported that business email compromise (BEC) attacks have grown a staggering 1300 percent since January 2015, with losses surpassing $3 billion.

These attacks rely on deception, and typically involve social engineering research and spear phishing to target certain individuals within an organization. A hacker poses as an executive or person of authority, and tricks another employee (typically someone in the accounting department) to facilitate a wire transfer. The transfer is, of course, fraudulent, and money is sent to hackers as opposed to a trusted business partner.

Education and proper approval policies are the strongest protections against BEC. Employees that are aware of these types of attacks can be on the lookout of suspicious activity. In addition, no wire transfer should be sent without further approval beyond an emailed request.

To find out more about safeguarding your business communications, connect with the experts at Pinnacle today.