Any phone system can be hacked in much the same way as a computer can. Hackers can access the phone system and the result can be catastrophic.
What could hackers do with my phone system?
Phone System hacking (also known as Toll Fraud) is a huge problem and the financial impact can cripple a business. Hackers who gain control of your phone system, use it to dial destinations with high call tariffs such as Cuba or Somalia. You can find more information about Toll Fraud here.
We also have a free video to explain Toll Fraud here.
The hack usually happens over a weekend so you won’t know there is an issue until Monday morning, by which time the Toll Fraud could have run up a bill of thousands. Unfortunately, it is the customer who is left to pay the phone bill and there is no ‘get out’ clause.
What can I do to protect my phone system from being hacked?
There are products out there to better protect you against Toll fraud. On ISDN (digital) lines and standard analogue lines, we can add Exceptional Call Reporting (ECR), which monitors irregular calls and would block the call if deemed fraudulent. This is a basic system, and there would still be associated costs if you are hacked, as the call is only blocked after the event. It does reduce the exposure, though.
ECR also covers the customer up to £5k per fraudulent call, with a small £250 excess. On newer cloud-based systems, you can add a limit to bar calls if you hit a certain call spend. Lastly, on new fixed, on-premise phone systems, we can add parameters that would only allow certain calls. So, for example, any call over one hour would be blocked, or we could block premium or international calls.
You wouldn’t leave your PC running without antivirus software, so why should your phone system be any different?