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September 06, 2007

Brits Need to Tighten Up VoIP and Wi-Fi Networks

By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor

According to a recent study, an alarmingly large number of businesses in the United Kingdom are ill prepared to protect their Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Wi-Fi networks.

As more and more companies around the world continue to migrate their telecom budgets to wireless and VoIP networks, the security risks associated with them are increasing, according to Nation Computing Centre (NCC).

In fact, says the study, the majority of U.K. organizations aren’t doing enough to protect their networks. The research showed 40 percent of respondents in the U.K. either have little or no security measures in pace for their Wi-Fi systems. And, of those using VoIP, only  15 percent have installed any security measures at all.

The dangers of operating an unprotected network are well detailed and many, but perhaps the best and most effective methods are remain standard  phishing and spam techniques hones first through e-mail inboxes.

Now,  the NCC is warning companies to straighten up their house before scammers cause them serious financial damage.

“Running unsecured Wi-Fi is like locking the front door, but leaving the windows open,” Stefan Foster, MD of NCC, said. “Fraudsters are increasingly targeting IT systems and the growing use of Wi-Fi is attracting their attention both inside and outside of the office environment. Un-secure wireless is putting organizations and those who interact with them at unnecessary risk.”

Although a good deal of attacks come through open channels such VoIP and Wi-Fi, most firms are more keenly  aware of the risks involved with internal security threats from the use of high-capacity USB sticks, a according to the report.

More than three-quarters of respondents in the survey from the NCC admitted they realized the threat posed by the data sticks, but just 11 percent had controls introduced to deal with the situation.

Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Tim Gray’s columnist page.


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