At their core, Voice-over IP (VoIP) phone systems are little more than voice and data services bundled into one interconnected technology. Phone systems and high-speed Internet, which once occupied different realms of telecom, now work in unison to provide reliable, trackable and intuitive communication between businesses and their customers.
As IP phone systems function solely via Internet connection, there are some risks and best practices users should be aware of when operating or configuring their systems. Any web-enabled device is susceptible to security issues - VoIP phone systems included. Additionally, there are various system features and Internet services you can use to ensure your business gets the best performance - and greatest security - out of its IP phone systems.
In this blog, we highlight some of the best practices for using an IP phone system in your small/medium-sized business.
Maintain Safe Login Procedures
IP phone systems are only capable of what they are because of their Internet functionality. Operating on the internet, however, will always come with inherent risks. One of the easiest ways businesses can improve their VoIP phone system security is by establishing strict and safe login procedures.
Each individual user in your IP phone network should have a unique username and password, supplemented by the VoIP service provider. These user profiles will allow you to monitor and restrict calls based on location, time or even device. Note that IP phone security requires more than just your involvement, but also that of your entire team. Security is a group effort, and when everyone knows best security practices for VoIP, your organization will be that much better protected.
Keep Your System Updated on Security and New Features
On the topic of security, you should also keep your VoIP phone system updated as new security patches and features are introduced. Intuitive VoIP-enabled firewalls can be instrumental in your system’s security, and a series of VLANs, or Virtual Local Area Network, can help you segment data packets for a more efficient, lower maintenance phone system.
The analytics software included in many of today’s VoIP phone system packages are capable of an array of security features, which both protect your business and give you enhanced calling functionality. This includes:
Automated fraud and misuse detection
Call recording and storage to meet compliance requirements
Instant call routing to specific devices or users
A centralized administrator portal, which can oversee performance and security in multiple locations and offices, with any number of team staff
Basic is Best
In the VoIP phone and telecom industry, keeping things basic has its advantages. Not all businesses need the most advanced, high-end phone models for every user in their office; especially for everyday call center tasks or conference functions.
When talking to your VoIP service provider, find out what phone system meets your operational requirements and base your decision on that. Not all users will need a 800 pixel LCD screen on their VoIP phone line. Find the system that fulfills your task requirements - that does exactly what you want it to do - and move forward from there. Some providers even offer free phones, depending on what your business needs out of its IP phone lines.
IP Phones and Quality of Service (QoS)
In VoIP, quality of service (QoS) is a necessity. You can improve the QoS for your IP phone lines by contacting your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and working with them to prioritize VoIP data packets on your business’s network. ISPs can improve quality of service for any type of media, based on a network administrator’s preference. This kind of prioritized data transmission ensures that packets retain their quality even outside of your organization’s local area network.