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Five simple ways to beat business phone fraud

Most SMBs are aware of online risks and have security measures in place to combat them, but how many consider threats posed to phone systems?

As part of National Fraud Week, Telstra Business is extending a warning to phone customers, following a rise in cases where hackers have gained access to business phone systems.

According to Telstra Corporate Security and Investigation director Darren Kane, Private Automated Branch Exchange (PABX) units and voicemail systems are the most common fraud targets.

“Customers have been shocked to suddenly find themselves liable for debts worth tens of thousands of dollars,” Kane said.

“Unfortunately there are scammers who use all sorts of means to steal other people’s property including telephone access, so customers really need to be thinking smart about ensuring their security measures are up to date,” he added.

As with most technology, business phone systems require PINs and passwords, which can be hacked if they aren’t regularly changed.

Here are some other ways you can protect your business against phone hacking:

1. Conduct regular security audits of all voicemail, telephone and PABX systems. Cancel or disable features not required including old voice mailbox accounts.

2. Regularly check both inbound and outbound call records, especially to unusual destinations, and calls made and received at unusual times. Don’t wait for your bill to check calls and costs, use online billing to check call records at any time.

3. Make sure access to phone or PABX systems is strictly limited, controlled and secured. Prepare a contingency plan and be ready to put it into action when a security breach occurs.

4. Treat phone PINs as seriously any other financial or computer access code. Ban employees from using easy-to-guess PIN numbers and make sure they are secure, not written anywhere, and changed regularly.

5. Ensure computer security is up to date. Use firewall rules to block undesirable internet activity and close unused IP ports

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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