For the modern law firm, effective communication is key to every area of practice. From discussing a new client’s needs, to conducting internal meetings and briefings, to meeting with partners or reporting to courts, there are countless areas of the legal sector that require efficient, reliable communications systems to be in place. As the sector becomes more interconnected, with more and more information at our fingertips, a personal conversation can be invaluable for sorting the fact from fiction – and must be facilitated on demand.
As law firms increasingly realise these changing pressures on the field, many are switching from traditional phone network systems to VoiP – or Voice Over Internet Protocol. VoiP systems offer many benefits to legal firms over traditional methods, utilising internet connections to make voice and video calls. Using VoiP, colleagues and clients can converse anywhere with an Internet connection, any time. This not only makes calls more reliable, it also saves costs, with VoiP systems being cheaper than phone network charges.
However, as with any new technology in the field, it must be used securely in order to protect company and client data. So, what are the security considerations for VoiP users, and how can law firms ensure their communications are kept secure with VoiP?
Security considerations for VoiP
There are so many benefits to using an IP-based communication system. It is quick, simple to use and creates a unified communications infrastructure that all law firm employees – in the office or working remotely – can use cohesively. However, it uses the internet, and as such there are considerations that must be taken into account to ensure it is used securely.
Improperly used, VoiP can be vulnerable to hacking just like any other web-based data. As IT Pro Portal explains:
“The truth is, every communication made over IP – including voice – is nothing more than a data packet. These packets could be small or large, and they could contain publicly available information or highly sensitive information. But one thing is certain: all packets are valuable to hackers. Therefore, all packets need to be protected with the same level of detail and attention as businesses invest into wider security-related issues”
Whether you are taking a client enquiry or discussing accounts with your finance manager, any conversation via VoiP must be conducted with security in mind. This is especially important following the implementation of GDPR, which incurs serious penalties for businesses that fail to effectively prevent personal data breaches.
How to protect your VoiP systems
So is VoiP safe, and how can law firms use these systems securely?
Well, the answer to the first question is yes. The reality is that even traditional telecommunications could be intercepted, usually with little opportunity to protect information or keep a trail of what had been bugged. VoiP, while using the Internet, offers much more in the way of security possibilities, allowing businesses to communicate in peace.
The answer to the second question is encryption. This is the main solution to protecting your communications systems, making it much more difficult for hackers to access the data that is transported across the IP network. As well as preventing data breaches, encryption can protect themselves against toll fraud. This is an emerging form of hacking where a hacker gets access to a company’s phone system, and uses it to call premium rate numbers – causing huge financial loss.
However, as IT Pro Portal points our, “with proper encryption, the phone systems can be hidden from view of the hackers, making it far more challenging for them to carry out any toll fraud activity.”
Here at CBSIT we are specialists in providing security solutions to law firms. This makes us perfectly placed to anticipate your needs and offer a VoiP communications to accommodate them. To find out more about our VoiP services, contact us today on 020 3355 7334.