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How to Prevent Fraud over the Festive Period

During the festive season, you might not be thinking about telephone and hosted system fraud, but it is a real problem that businesses need to be aware of, and we’d like to help. Telephone and hosted system fraud is an issue for businesses across the globe, and if something goes wrong it can be disastrous for businesses, with costs running into the thousands. So, it is something that is massively important to keep on top of.

Christmas can be a vulnerable time for businesses. People might be working from home more and are generally more relaxed, meaning there is potential for less oversight than usual when it comes to security. We believe that the best way to stay safe is to always be following the right processes, so we have put together this helpful guide on the ways that you and your customers can avoid fraud over the festive period.

Understand Your System:

The best way to spot if anything isn’t right with your phone system is to have full knowledge of how it should be working under the right circumstances. Make sure you fully understand your system’s functionality and capabilities. If there are services in your phone system that you do not use, then it is worth restricting your team’s access to them.

It is also worth making an assessment of the security all of the phones and hosted system devices on your network. This ranges from understanding the security of the operating system your devices are working on, to your password and permissions policies. Carefully evaluate the security of any onboard remote management services your business uses for possible vulnerabilities.

This isn’t just limited to your digital portfolio. You also have to make sure that your system is physically secure. If you are making use of an on-site phone system, make sure it’s in a secure comms room and restrict access to that area.

Passwords & Access:

Making sure that your communications system is as secure as possible means making sure that your whole team works together to stay safe. This is especially true over Christmas, where staff are more reliant on their personal devices.

Unsafe passwords are one of the most obvious causes of difficulty for many teams, but are still worth mentioning. You should never have devices that have the password set to “password” or “1234”. Come on, be original! It is also worth deleting the users and passwords of ex-employees.

Adding restrictions to certain functions of your communication system can also be a great way to secure peace of mind. Consider limiting call types by extension. If you have no need to be making international or premium calls, then bar access to them and potentially save your business thousands. This may not be possible for every industry, but restricting outbound calls outside of working hours can be another great safety tip.

Finally, mailboxes are a common spot for fraudulent attacks. It is worth blocking access to unallocated mailboxes on the system and changing the default PIN on unused mailboxes. If possible, you should try and remove any unused mailboxes.

Staying Aware:

Like with many things, staying vigilant and in the know about your communications is the best way to prevent problems from arising. If there is anything you are not quite sure about when it comes to your business communication system, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help. In the meantime though, here are a few more precautionary steps that you could consider.

It is worth keeping an eye on your call statistics, as you may be able to spot evidence of hacking as it arises. It is common to be able to spot hackers making fraudulent calls through your phone system outside of business hours or preventing legitimate calls from being made by your team. If you make use of VoIP or SIP phones, you can limit VoIP usage to your office network, or assign daily limits to extension call spend, making sure that no unauthorised calls can be made through these services.

Last of all, just try and stay as prepared as possible and aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of the services you use. Whether this means limiting the use of phone systems to fit your business’ needs, or making regular checks of your network’s firewalls, awareness is key, even during the holidays.

We hope these tips have been useful and have made you consider your communications security; it could save you a lot of money! We hope that all of our customers have very happy holidays. We are looking forward to working with you in the year to come.