telecom consulting service providersCriminals have been targeting business phone systems for years, for the purpose of committing toll fraud.  

This is the second installment of a two-part series on the PBX’s role in toll fraud. Last week’s article discussed the perils of toll fraud.  This week, we cover different methods used to protect a PBX, to prevent toll fraud.

Here’s a list of measures businesses should take to protect their phone system: 

  • Once it’s installed, make sure you change the password to access your PBX.
  • Disable the Direct Inward System Access, if it’s not needed.  If it’s necessary, require users to use a minimum of a five-digit password.  Also, limit log on attempts to three tries and then require a password reset by a system manager.
  • Implement a voice firewall and software to block hackers and provide real-time, detailed monitoring of call traffic.  There is software available that can alert you if there is any unusual activity.
  • Protect your Remote Maintenance Access and Testing System ports.  There is equipment available that will drop all incoming calls and then call back predetermined phone numbers for access.
  • Deactivate unused voicemail boxes and prevent employees from recording extended absence greetings.  Extended absence greetings are invitations for hacking.
  • Restrict access to international calling to areas of the world your employees don’t need to call and high fraud area codes, like area code 809.  809 reaches the Dominican Republic and 60% of all toll fraud calls terminate to that area code.
  • Limit trunk-to-trunk access – the ability for incoming callers to access dial tone – either through voicemail or the auto attendant.
  • Educate traveling employees to potential hazards like “shoulder surfers”, when using public phones.  “Shoulder surfers” watch people dial in an effort to capture access codes.
  • Limit the availability to and capability of your phone system during non-work hours.
  • Purchase Employee Dishonesty Insurance.  20 to 30% of fraud calls are the result of dishonest employees.

It’s not difficult or costly to protect your PBX from hackers and criminals that want to commit toll fraud.  By implementing the above measures a company can prevent the six figure losses and business interruptions that can result from toll fraud.

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