A class 5 Softswitch solution is a popular tool that is used to provide communication and collaboration to businesses and small offices or home offices. This software is used by retail VoIP service providers to offer VoIP calling services or VoIP based business phone systems or by enterprises to meet their own communication needs. Similar to all other VoIP solutions, a class 5 Softswitch solution uses voice over internet protocol to transmit voice, video, data, and multimedia. As it uses internet lines, the risks associated with internet interception and security breaches are high. In addition to that, if you use an open source class 5 Softswitch solution, then risks and threats increase even more because the code of any open source VoIP solution is available online to everyone. This increases the need and demand to take security threats more seriously and adopt the best security measures and protocol to safeguard this VoIP Softswitch.
In this blog post, we will cover the following pointers to discover more details about this subject matter:
- What is a class 5 Softswitch system?
- What is an open source class 5 Softswitch?
- What are the major security threats and measures to adopt to safeguard the class 5 switch?
- Concluding notes
So let’s delve deeper to explore more about this interesting topic.
1. What is a class 5 Softswitch system?
It is a general purpose VoIP solution, which handles the retail VoIP market. Similar to an IP PBX solution, it offers an array of features to meet different communication needs. This software supports calling, messaging, CTI features, and more to enhance business communication. It also provides reports to showcase call details, as well as, major KPIs, so businesses can enhance business communication and budget related to it.
It is a web based software solution that can be used to leverage communication features or to provide business phone services. It can serve customers in the same city or state, which is why it is known as a retail Softswitch. It can handle retail VoIP traffic. It can make long distance calls, but it is usually used to provide retail VoIP services.
2. What is an open source class 5 Softswitch?
Similar to any other open source VoIP software, an open source class 5 Softswitch solution is an open source VoIP solution. It is similar to any standard class 5 switch in terms of features. The only unique point in an open source system is that it provides access to the whole software along with its code. It also provides everything for free. That means the business that uses the open source class 5 Softswitch software does not need to pay any license cost or fee to use this system. This characteristic becomes a main point of attraction for businesses to use an open source solution.
3. What are the major security threats and measures to adopt to safeguard the class 5 switch?
In the VoIP industry, security threats are common for both proprietary and open source VoIP solutions. However, when we talk about open source solutions, the threats are higher due to common reasons. Even the known risks related to transmitting voice over IP increase. The reason is the open source nature of the software. The biggest advantage of the software can turn into the biggest disadvantage of the system. However, there is nothing to worry about and it also does not mean that you should avoid using an open source version of class 5 Softswitch software. All it insists is you must be aware of the risks associated with using an open source retail Softswitch and solutions to avoid those risks. So let’s begin.
Consolidate open source solutions from a security point of view
As open source systems are available with code, a majority of loopholes would be known to hackers. In many cases, these open windows to let invaders get in and crash your system or make other types of harm are often known and discussed over open source communities. Even the open source class 5 Softswitch software providers discuss these kinds of threats and ways to prevent them in their resources like community, blog posts, how to guides, user manuals, and more. Thus, it is necessary to explore these details and take preventive steps to consolidate the security measures and protocols to safeguard the switch and the users associated with it.
Enforce common security measures and protocols
Whether you use an open source or third party class 5 Softswitch, security threats are common and so do the preventive steps. There are some common protocols and measures defined by the expert VoIP developers, which you must follow to keep your system and its users safe.
The primary best practices and recommendations are listed hereunder:
- Always use strong passwords and even encourage customers and other users of this switch to use strong passwords.
- The passwords must be changed at regular intervals.
- Invest in encryption to ensure even if a line or system is compromised in any way, the hackers don’t steal sensitive data or information.
- Use security solutions to protect the system
Upgrade the software regularly
Whenever you decide to use an open source VoIP solution, the first thing to check is whether the community releases regular software updates or not. If the community is not releasing regular software updates, then you better avoid using that open source software. You must always look for open source software, which regularly releases software. These version releases often upgrade the software and fix major bugs, backdoors, and vulnerabilities to help businesses that use this software to use a more secure system. To use a better and much safer solution, it is a must to regularly upgrade this retail Softswitch.
Invest in theme customization
One of the common components of an open source solution that is easy to breach is its theme. Hackers find it easier to apply security injections and scripts via the user interface. To avoid this kind of security breach, it is necessary to get a new theme or customize an existing theme. This can resolve some common security related challenges by blocking common doors to get into the system by hackers.
Use a session border controller solution
One more important security measure that can safeguard a class 5 Softswitch software solution is installing a session border controller solution. This system sits at the entry and exit points of the software. It examines all packets entering and exiting the network. This way it can filter out all suspicious packets and VoIP traffic, which helps in preventing security loopholes and consolidating the security of the VoIP software, as well as, VoIP infrastructure.
Adopt general security solutions
There is one more security measure and protocol that a business can adopt to safeguard an open source retail Softswitch. The VoIP experts have already defined these standards. A business just needs to identify the right software and implement it within the software. Some of the common security solutions are listed hereunder:
- STIR/SHAKEN certificate: Call spoofing is one of the common security threats faced by VoIP service users. There are several companies that have faced this nuisance and even consequences related to it. To stop and remove this threat, the STIR/SHAKEN certificate is enforced by the FDA in the USA. Even if your business is not operating in the US market, it is advisable to get a STIR/SHAKEN certificate and implement it into your product to identify call spoofing and protect your clients.
- Fraud detection and management software: This is the best solution that any business can use to automate the process of examining VoIP traffic and taking immediate action if there is something suspicious. The fraud detection and management software not only inspects call traffic round the clock, but it also ensures it automatically blocks the source of suspicious traffic. It also alerts admin and other users with email alerts to take a deep look into the possible security breach and attempt to take further steps to safeguard the business from potential hacks.
Security threats and risks are real in any business. As everything is online in the VoIP industry, these risks increase potential. When a business handles customer data and sensitive information, it becomes necessary to keep that information and data confidential. Moreover, in the VoIP industry, malicious attacks can make a VoIP service provider bankrupt by making fraud calls using the network or draining VoIP minutes. When a business uses a VoIP Softswitch for the retail market, it has customer data and VoIP minutes both, which increases the need of having the most robust security system in place. The use of open source often makes it quite easy for hackers to peep in and break the system and its ethnicity. Thus, taking added steps to safeguard the business, customers, and brand in the market becomes necessary. This blog post has given all possible security measures and protocols that can consolidate the security of a retail VoIP business.
We have been offering customers their journey to run a sustainable business with the right technology solutions, including a class 5 Softswitch and security solutions. To explore more about our offerings and other open source VoIP solutions, contact us.
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