What Is VoIP? The Ultimate Guide In 2024

Aside from functionality and features, there are a few other important considerations for companies to weigh when selecting a VoIP service provider:

Uptime

Companies need to ensure they are reachable during business hours. Otherwise, they are at risk of losing customers and revenue. Top VoIP providers will often address these concerns by providing a service level agreement or SLA that guarantees a certain level of uptime. The “Five Nines,” or an uptime level of 99.999%, is considered the gold standard. That means businesses can expect only a few minutes of downtime per year.

Some VoIP services will offer an SLA of 99.9% or 99.99%. A VoIP company may not provide any uptime guarantee in their terms of service, or if they do, they will choose to limit it to customers within a specific service tier, such as those on an enterprise-level plan.

Security and Privacy

Data breaches or unauthorized access by third parties is a major concern for businesses, and ensuring the security of sensitive company information will always be a priority. VoIP services use specific methods to address security and privacy concerns adequately.

  • Encryption: Call encryption is one of the primary methods service providers rely on to protect customer calls. For example, Dialpad utilizes WebRTC technology and Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol or SRTP for encryption and authentication. VoIP providers also rely on TLS protocols to hide information like usernames and phone numbers.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA): A growing number of VoIP services offer 2FA as a way for businesses to ensure that those who log in to accounts have permission to so. It is a great method to avoid succumbing to brute-force attacks.
  • Employee training: In addition to careful product design, another method of avoiding security issues or privacy concerns is to hire and train personnel to ensure that they carry out their job duties in a way that directly reduces future breaches or threats.

How Abuse of VoIP Technology Impacts The Industry

In 2021, the FBI issued a warning regarding cyber criminals using VoIP platforms for “vishing” attacks. Instead of emails, these bad actors would use VoIP to trick victims into granting them access to personal accounts or visiting websites designed to steal sensitive information.

This warning came a year after the Federal Trade Commission issued warning letters to 19 VoIP providers about assisting or facilitating illegal activities in any way.  FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Andrew Smith stated, “VoIP service providers play a unique role in the robocall ecosystem, allowing fraudsters and abusive telemarketers to call consumers at a fraction of a penny per minute.”

Many companies have since taken proactive steps to reduce bad actors’ impact on the telecommunications and VoIP industries.  For instance, businesses are actively encouraged to register with The Campaign Registry (TCR), whose guidelines encourage all members to follow a guideline of best practices.  Failure to register at the service provider’s request will result in a company seeing its business SMS capabilities limited or losing the ability to text outright.

The VoIP industry and its technology represent a positive step forward in making it easier than ever for businesses to connect with their customer base or collaborate through multiple communication channels. Unfortunately, it also makes it easier for criminals to communicate with victims and cause harm. Reputable companies and service providers must work together to take all possible measures for VoIP services to be used honestly and with integrity.

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