The security threat from voice over IP (VoIP) systems is still unknown, but the risk is real and enterprises must start planning now, analyst firm Ovum has warned.
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The promise of lower call charges is driving interest in internet-based telephony. However, Ovum said that VoIP service providers and enterprises should take steps to minimise security risks before the technology is more widely deployed.
These steps include checking the integrity of the IP telephony systems and the data systems to which they are connected.
The main security issues will come from floods of spam, phishing attacks where "voice spam" is used to obtain personal information, toll fraud, where premium calls are made to a number that benefits the hacker, and denial of service attacks that prevent the use of the telephony service.
"We do not know which threats will become critical in VoIP or how long the process will take, but it would be foolish to ignore them," said Graham Titterington, principal analyst at Ovum.