We read frequently about horror stories of individuals having their personal information hacked or the credit cards and email addresses as well as business’s websites hacked. Overall we tend to rely on “other” people to protect our information – but how reliable are those we rely on?
This week I want to highlight an issue that currently lurks in the background of every business – how safe is your phone system? Do you, as the business owner, know the passwords to your ISDN lines? Does your Office Administrator know them? ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network which is the set of communication standards for simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data and network services that most businesses will have setup.
If the answer to these questions is “No” then you are relying on your service provider of the phone systems and/or the company who services your phone network. How confident are you that your system is secure?
Our phone company recently rang us to report that the number of calls made from our system had suddenly spiked outside of business hours. The bill arrived soon after - quadrupled its usual size. The service provider was in no hurry to address the matter. Hence we were left to seek an alternative knowledgeable technician willing to assist from Sydney. Over the internet he managed to track the cause to Eastern Block Cyber criminals who managed to hack our network and divert several lines to mobile phones for their personal use making many thousands of dollars worth of calls in a short period of time. (No client data was hacked as the providers here change their security every couple of months.)
We obtained a report on the matter to find that the phone provider used generic passwords that make a Hackers job easy ie: Administrator; Manager; Password! The individual phone lines had passwords. Some lines simply didn’t have passwords and hence were open and available for Hackers to use over the internet.
Many in business would not give this issue a second thought, but at Sothertons it’s our advice to all business owners - make sure you secure every password from every system you have on a password register. Don’t assume the Phone Company will look after you – they tend not to accept any blame. Perhaps your phone service provider won’t want to know you either. Call us on 4972 1300 to ensure you take the necessary steps to protect your system from any unexpected costs.