As the recent Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) study* highlights, the UK’s small businesses are today more at risk of cybercrime than ever before. Yet, the majority lack both the resources and the skills to put in place appropriate protection, resulting in a lack of security with a total annual cost to small business of around £5.26 billion over 2014 and 2015.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is one of the rising technologies that many SMEs are now using in order to cut costs and increase operational flexibility. Alongside cloud computing, VoIP is a key component in today’s flexible, low cost infrastructure that is supporting business agility and growth.
Whilst businesses are increasingly confident in deploying these technologies, far too many are failing to fully understand the associated risks, placing themselves in a hazardous situation. VoIP is not just a new, lower cost telephone system; it’s using the Internet data connection to provide a voice service - and should be treated as such in terms of security and usage policies.
It is therefore unfortunate that the FSB study bears no reference to this significant vulnerability, considering well-published research from security consultancy Nettitude has revealed that attacks on VoIP servers represented 67% of all attacks it recorded against UK-based services.
VoIP is hugely compelling and with the rise in excellent broadband connections, growing numbers of SMEs will opt for this low cost approach. However, the industry must increase awareness across the board that any Internet related deployment demands security.
We echo the FSB’s call to action: the key change that needs to take place is indeed a greater sharing of the burden of cyber resilience across business (large – especially those providing the technological and economic infrastructure – and small), Government, individuals and crucially also the IT community who have a duty of care to make security a viable and cost-effective solution.
Paul German, CEO, VoipSec