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It’s no secret that VoIP fraud is a growing problem within the industry. It’s estimated that telecoms fraud can cost operators $40billion a year worldwide and IP based services contribute a significant proportion to that total. But as a VoIP reseller how can you protect yourselves and your customers from VoIP fraud?

Jon Farmer, Voice Technical Lead

Jon Farmer, Voice Technical Lead

In a recent interview with Comms Dealer magazine (August 2012 issue), FCS General Manager, Michael Eagle highlighted this issue and calls for every stage of the supply chain to become more vigilant against fraud. He states “The FCS view is that each member of the supply chain has responsibilities and an important part to play in preventing and dealing with fraud. Accordingly, FCS wants to establish clarity of responsibility and best practice at each level to prevent, restrict or mitigate the losses which would otherwise be suffered by innocent parties.”

Mr Eagle goes onto suggest that wholesalers have an obligation to set up “effective systems in line with agreed industry standards to detect, report and automatically block any unusual call activity as soon as it occurs”. Similarly he argues resellers need to be fully informed and able to react to intelligence as soon as it’s available and end user customers have a responsibility to ensure security and prevent hacking, cooperating with their providers effectively.

We completely agree with the FCS and believe that in order to be truly vigilant against fraud the wholesale supplier, reseller and end user must work together to ensure they implement as many anti-fraud measures as possible. We encourage all reseller partners to be vigilant against fraud and have implemented a number of safe guards to help. These include:

  • We encourage all customers to keep VoIP phones connected to a separate LAN or VLAN to those used for computers and other devices.
  • All customers are advised to change all default http passwords to something more unique and secure. Strong passwords should be used wherever possible and the most secure usually consist of a combination of letters and numbers, using upper and lower case but every site has varying requirements.
  • If you are operating a PBX ensure it is securely firewalled.
  • Where a fraud attack occurs we have daily call limits in place to help limit its financial impact on the customer.
  • We also monitor our network constantly and check for any trends or activity that could suggest a fraudulent attack.

The FCS also argue that there are still a number of legal loopholes which urgently need closing in order to minimise VoIP fraud. They plan to lobby the relevant bodies to ensure this is changed and we fully support this effort.

Fraud is not a new problem but as in many industries as technologies evolve, criminals also adapt and improve their techniques to exploit innocent users. Unfortunately, VoIP is the latest technology to be hit and in order to combat fraudulent activity it’s essential that everyone is as vigilant as possible to minimise the number and scale of the attacks.

If you would like to find out more about Entanet’s anti-fraud measures and how you can secure your connections effectively contact us on 0333 101 0000.

Have your say!

Have you or any of your customer’s been victims of VoIP fraud? How are you ensuring your connections are as secure as possible? Let us know your thoughts and share your experiences by leaving us a comment below.

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