Securing Voice Sessions Is More Important Than Ever: Awareness is Key

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Voice Security

It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and in the spirit of sharing important information and insights about the ever-changing security landscape, it is important to remember that securing voice sessions is becoming more important than ever as attacks on voice applications are skyrocketing.

Digital transformation has forever shifted the way business gets done, revolutionizing daily processes and rearranging priorities. Of the changes brought about by digital transformation, a new emphasis on communications and the associated technology is near the most prominent among organizations of all industries.

In the new age of remote work, voice communications have become a critical part of daily tasks for enterprises of all sizes and verticals.

The power of the spoken voice over the phone has reached new heights during digital transformation, with the technology offering benefits for both employees and customers.

57 percent of workers say voice calls through an app, team messaging, video calls, and phone calls are the best ways to communicate to provide a way for multiple people to connect at the same time.

On top of this, 59 percent of customers expect a business to be available via a voice call, and 50 percent want the ability to escalate to speaking with a live person who can help when they need it.

For many enterprises today, the way to reach the desired levels of connectivity and reliability in voice communications takes the form of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking. SIP Trunking as a Service (STaaS) is growing in popularity and is a center of excellence for Kandy.

SIP Trunking enables communications service providers to provide online communication to their customers by combining Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) with Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) using data networks.

SIP Trunking is quickly becoming a common practice among enterprises in all industries, with the global SIP Trunking services market being valued at USD 11.96 billion in 2021 and expected to reach USD 43.74 billion by the end of 2031, growing at a CAGR of 14.1 percent.

The growth is not surprising, as the technology offers advantages over traditional telecommunication systems, such as private branch exchange (PBX) and public switched telephone networks (PTSN) through primary rate interface (PRI) lines. By contrast, SIP Trunking uses IP-enabled PBX on-premise or increasingly in the cloud and connects using a data network rather than PRI or ISDN lines.

SIP Trunking Encryption for Cybersecurity Measures

However, while SIP Trunking can help an organization vastly improve voice communications, the technology does not come without security risks. SIP Trunking isn’t inherently secure by design and can pose significant security risks unless security measures are taken. Without such measures, organizations are still liable to attackers gaining unauthorized access to their sensitive communications data. Such scenarios may lead to further disastrous consequences, including data breaches and additional cyberattacks.

For instance, SIP is a text-based communications protocol, not too different from the commonly used HyperText Markup Language (HTML), the building block of the world wide web. Part of this similarity also includes a similar addressing system, which closely resembles that of one found in the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). The addressing system contains a header that contains sensitive private information.

This information may include the caller’s identity, device information, and private contact details. But, since SIP Trunking uses Internet servers to carry this information, attackers can reach these servers and intercept the communication. In addition, as the information travels over plain text, anyone listening to the communications can intercept and access this information.

More organizations have begun adopting SIP Trunking encryption protocols, which are methods for securing communications over a SIP network through end-to-end encryption, and are enjoying the benefits of consuming STaaS.

Once the communication is encrypted, the organization significantly improves its communications security and can protect sensitive data in transit.

For example, a common SIP cyberattack is a registration hijacking assault, which falls under the hijacking/man-in-the-middle attacks category. That said, attack methods such as man-in-the-middle attacks are only made possible through unencrypted communications. Even if both the SIP Trunking service provider and the client encrypt the connections from their end, the data traveling over the Internet is still visible in plain text.

As such, if an attacker successfully hijacks part of your communication’s call path and extracts call data, they can do with it as they please if the data is unencrypted. Therefore, the solution against such attacks is to encrypt your data while it is in transit.

The best way to ensure that your communications are secure is to choose a SIP Trunking provider that enforces SIP Trunking encryption by default. However, finding a provider who will secure both the data layer, which contains the SIP connection information, and the data packets, and the audio layer, which is the layer containing the actual phone conversation itself, is no easy task.

This is where Kandy can make a difference and help optimize your voice communications.

At Kandy, we understand how crucial voice communication is to any enterprise today, as well as how essential it is to be cautious of cyber criminals. Our Kandy Cloud Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) enables secure embedded communications for enterprises as part of their broader digital transformation and enhanced customer engagement strategy. Kandy CPaaS APIs and SDKs, , and a marketplace of ISVs for vertical markets allow enterprises to deliver immersive and superior embedded communication experiences.

An emerging aspect of Kandy CPaaS is a multi-service portal that enables SIP Trunking as a Service (STaaS), which is a cloud-based solution for service providers to offer their enterprise customers market-leading SIP trunk security plus site, user, and phone number management capabilities. Once connected, users can enable their unified communication services and integrate with WebRTC services for web browser users to greatly extend and simplify access while reducing costs.

With Kandy’s secure SIP Trunks and STaaS offering, service providers can assure robust network and user security with hosted session border controllers, supporting both signaling and media encryption, allowing enterprises to communicate between employees and customers reliably and, most importantly, securely.