Security is important no matter what industry you're in, but the need for it has become increasingly obvious in the area of technology. This has become especially true in recent years as we've seen breaches take place at large corporations, healthcare facilities, and even the Internal Revenue Service. No business, regardless of size, appears to be safe.
Since Voice over Internet Protocol is technology-based, it is essential that you learn a few tricks of the trade in order to protect your hotel's integrity, not to mention the customers who visit you on a regular basis. If you don't take the threat seriously, you could find yourself facing unauthorized charges on your account or possible downtime that will affect your employees and guests.
The good news is that protection of your VoIP system isn't too difficult. Simply follow these tips and you should be fine:
Keep Your System Up to Date
When a security breach occurs, it is often the result of "holes" that regularly exist in technology. Luckily, these holes often have patches available for them long before anyone will try to take advantage of the weaknesses. However, intruders can exploit these problem areas quite quickly, costing you time and money, so it's best to install any patches on a regular basis.
One of the best things to come out of communications technology in the past several years is the ability to call nearly anywhere at any time. This can especially be useful for visitors who need to stay connected and want to do so without the use of their cell phone. Unfortunately, there are nefarious types -- often outside the United States -- that are set up to receive calls as a way to infiltrate a system from the point of origin and will do so by sending someone into your hotel posing as a regular guest. You can negate this possibility by limiting calls to local or domestic ones. And if a guest has a specific need or request, you can work with them to figure out the best solution.
Separate Voice and Data
When your voice and data are handled on the same line, you increase your chances of poor call quality. What many hotel owners don't realize, however, is that security can become an issue as well. The solution is to set up a VLAN that will keep your voice and data packets separate. This will make it more difficult for nefarious types to invade your system.
Enforce Security Policies
One of the best ways to enforce proper security is to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Train your employees on any security limitations on the phones and the importance of maintaining them. Also school them in the art of phishing and how such scams can compromise the system's security if they're not careful.
Set Up Voicemail Passwords
Data thieves will often utilize weak voicemail procedures to glean information from guests, which can place both those guests and your hotel into a bad situation. You can help avoid this by setting up passwords for voicemail boxes. Don't skimp on security here -- make sure that the passwords are strong so that it will be more difficult, and hopefully impossible, for nefarious individuals to gain access to information. It's also a good idea not to allow users to use the same password for multiple systems.
Upgrading your hotel to VoIP is a great strategy, but like any communications systems, it's important that you be aware of security breaches that may happen. By following the tips we've outlined above, you'll have an easier time protecting your hotel's employees and guests. If you'd like to learn more about how VoIP can improve your hotel, please contact PhoneSuite for a free consultation!