What is Vishing? How to Protect Your Business Against VoIP Vishing

Posted on March 17, 2020

Topics: Office Technology, VoIP Systems

What is Vishing? How to Protect Your Business Against VoIP Vishing


Good communication is crucial to any successful business. That’s why many companies around the world are turning to cloud-based hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems to improve both the efficiency of their internal and external communications at a lower cost.

VoIP allows you to make phone calls from the same business number at any time or place, as long as you have access to the internet, will bring your company a huge range of benefits.

Why you should consider cloud-based hosted VoIP systems:

  • Significant cost savings.
  • Superior scalability compared to phones that use physical hardware.
  • Access to features that improve communications, such as video chat, virtual assistance and many more.
  • An increased ability to stay connected with remote and mobile workers.
  • Improved customer communication efficiencies which reduce hold times and speed up issue resolution.

Like all technologies, however, criminals continue to look for ways in which they can exploit vulnerabilities and gain profit. Some criminals use VoIP systems themselves in a bid to gain sensitive information from small, medium and large organizations. This is known as ‘vishing’, a variant of the more commonly known ‘phishing’.

What is vishing?

Wikipedia describes vishing this way. Voice phishing is a form of criminal phone fraud, using social engineering over the telephone system to gain access to private, personal and financial information for the purpose of financial reward. It is sometimes referred to as 'vishing' - a portmanteau of "voice" and phishing.

Impersonating a legitimate business to scam organizations and gain profit is not a new phenomenon. Vishing is simply a new twist on a scam that petty criminals have been doing for years.

Vishing is a phishing scam in which hackers use VoIP phones to contact businesses and trick them into giving up sensitive information. These scammers create fake Caller ID profiles that make phone numbers appear legitimate and then use either humans or recorded bots to talk to company employees - identifying themselves as a representative of a trusted company.

They then use scare tactics and emotional manipulation to steal sensitive information such as mailing addresses, bank account information and company passwords. The aim of these criminals is to either steal your company’s money or your identity.

It’s not as easy as just not answering the phone either. These scammers also leave voicemails that sound legitimate, and you would be surprised just how many companies respond to these messages and end up giving highly sensitive data over the phone.

How to protect your business from vishing

Most threats against your company’s VoIP system can be easily prevented through a few key steps in your cybersecurity strategy. The most important aspect is simply making sure your employees are all aware that such scams exist. Once your company knows not to give sensitive information over the phone to incoming calls, your business will be significantly more protected.

Here are a few key things you can do to protect your business from the damaging impact of vishing:

1. Never give personal or financial information to an incoming caller

Even if the caller ID looks legitimate, you should never give out personal or bank information to an incoming caller. If the caller claims to be from a bank or other institution, simply hang up the phone and call the business directly on their official phone line.

2. Verify a caller’s identity

When receiving a call from an institution demanding personal information, it’s important that you verify their identity before you give them any sensitive information. You can do this by asking their name, position and the company they work for. Once you have that, you can then call the official printed or online contact information that you have for the institution. You will then be able to verify if the contact was legitimate.

3. Install a secure, firewalled network for your VoIP system

A VoIP firewall will monitor traffic coming into your phone system, allowing it to block calls that may pose a threat to your business. This will keep your phone line running efficiently, helping your company to meet business goals.

Want to learn more about the benefits of a VoIP phone system, or would like to hear more phone system security tips? Contact the OT Group team of experts today. We would love to answer any questions you have.

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