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Security Awareness: Top Threats to UC Technology - TEO Technologies - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

Security Awareness: Top Threats to UC Technology

An increasing number of organizations are leaving their siloed, disparate communications systems behind in favor of a solution that is more integrated and unified. Now, unified communications represent a linchpin for enterprise daily operations, enabling employees to more seamlessly connect and collaborate with one another.

This uptick in adoption is also relevant to overall market growth. According to research from Global Market Insights, Inc., the UC sector is still expanding, and is forecast to reach a value of $96 billion by 2023.

However, as more organizations in an array of different industries leverage these critical technology solutions, hackers and malicious actors are taking notice. UC systems are often used to house and transmit considerably sensitive information, which can be tempting for cyber attackers.

Threats on the rise

Overall, we've seen a steady increase on the number of new malware samples for about the late decade. G Data reported that in 2016, a total of 6.83 million new malware samples were detected by security researchers, and experts are forecasting more than 7 million never-before-seen samples will be discovered this year.

Worse still, it's not just new malware that's worrisome - hackers are also recycling older threats, upgrading coding capabilities to make an outdated virus ready for new victims. In addition, as hackers increasingly leverage more sophisticated and advanced strategies to infect victims, it's more and more difficult to fight off an attack.

When cyber attackers breach a UC system, it can give them access to all sorts of sensitive data, important business communications and other intellectual property. For this reason, UC technology should be at the top of the list when it comes to security priorities.

One of the first steps for proper protection is to be aware of the threats that are coming your way. Here are a few of the most pervasive and dangerous attacks concerning UC infrastructure that hackers favored this year:

Digital threats are on the rise - and can impact your company's UC solution.

Ransomware

Attackers have taken to holding data for ransom, encrypting critical assets within a victim's systems until he or she pays up usually in the form of untraceable Bitcoin.

This threat comes in connection with UC due to the ways ransomware is usually delivered - it often begins with a legitimate-looking, yet malicious email containing an infected link. Users are tricked into opening the email and clicking the link, which then begins the ransomware infection.

Once the ransomware is in place, the victim's computer displays a warning notification noting that the user has been locked out of his or her files until the ransom is paid. While some cases have emerged wherein victims pay the amount asked for and access to files is returned, more often than not, hackers will take payment without removing the encryption. Some attackers have even asked for a second ransom, confident the victim will pay.

According to Barkly, about 4,000 ransomware attacks took place each day in 2016, and attacks on businesses have increased - where an event once took place every 2 minutes, these instances are now happening every 40 seconds, Kaspersky reported.

Phishing attacks

Ransomware and phishing often go hand-in-hand. Similar to ransomware - and many other threats - phishing impacts an organization's email system, which is often the heart of UC. And like ransomware, sophisticated phishing attacks are on the rise.

SC Magazine reported that during the first half of 2017, Kaspersky Labs blocked 51 million phishing attempts. These attacks have impacted the mobile platform as well (known as smishing or SMS phishing), and have risen 250 percent since January.

While many users and employees are aware that phishing is a problem, one in every 14 people are still tricked into opening malicious phishing emails. Much of this has to do with the time and planning involved on the part of hackers - attacks use several different strategies to encourage clicks. This includes social engineering, wherein hackers will include the victim's name as well as the names of their boss or supervisor within the email to make it appear official. In other cases, tempting deals, discounts or coupons are offered - a particular threat during the busy holiday season.

Spying through video conferencing

Although many businesses still leverage traditional conference calling, video conferencing has become increasingly popular to support communication and provide an in-person feel. Research from IHS Markit found that 86 percent of businesses plan to make video conferencing a part of their UC system by next year.

"One in every 14 people are tricked into opening malicious phishing emails."

As these solutions are deployed in more enterprise settings, researchers have found that they can provide an entryway for prying eyes and ears.

"[V]ulnerabilities could allow hackers to eavesdrop on confidential meetings, read documents sitting on a conference table, or even zoom in to record keystrokes (such as passwords) typed by meeting participants on their laptops," eSecurity Planet contributor Jeff Goldman wrote.

Safeguarding your UC

These threats only scratch the surface when it comes to companies' use of UC systems. Motivated hackers seeking to snoop and steal data for fraudulent purposes are becoming increasingly crafty in their attacks, but this doesn't mean that your organization can't guard against them.

First and foremost, it's critical for IT administrators and other department supervisors to educate users about the risks. Employees that have a better understanding of the strategies hackers use to support a breach can be on the lookout for suspicious activity, illegitimate emails and other signs that point to cybercriminal activity. With the right knowledge, workers can become a pillar of enterprise security, as opposed to a weak link.

In addition, experts urged that UC systems have security measures in place. Goldman noted that a main misstep many organizations make is forgetting these basic protection measures and providing easy access for attackers. For instance, businesses have been known to deploy their videoconferencing solution and connecting it directly to the internet without placing a firewall or password protection in between. However, skipping this step in security can translate to considerable risk for enterprises, their employees, their important data and the infrastructure that supports daily operations.

To find out more about how to best safeguard your UC technology, contact the experts at Teo today.

Source: https://www.teotech.com/research/news/security-awareness-top-threats-to-uc-technology/

Publish Date: November 30, 2017 5:00 AM


2021 Buyers Guide Headsets

 
1.) 
All Ears Ltd

Freemate headsets, and sanitary solutions for headsets
Freemate headsets available, corded and wireless for telephony and USB. 3 year warranty compatible with all model phones. We supply accessories from downleads, USB leads, ear cushions, leatherettes and we service call centre headsets, these are sanitised and repaired or serviced as required.

We supply the corporate environment, Government departments, security, medical and professional offices and meet the needs of many of New Zealand's SOHO market.

We can even develop and create one-off solutions for those with mobility or disability limitations opening up a world of freedom in communications. And we like to have fun on the journey.
PH: 644 9201929

2.) 
Comfort Telecommunications

Smith Corona Headsets
3 year warranty compatible with all model phones. Accessories also available. Cords, earpads, etc all factory direct pricing
PH: 800-399-3224

3.) 
CTCOMM

Plantronics
Jabra
Sennheiser

4.) 
Headsets123


Since 1998 Headsets123 has been supplying Call Center Grade corded phone headsets, wireless headsets, headset telephones and a wide range of headset accessories to accommodate Medical, Insurance, Financial offices and large Call Centers environments offering you value, comfort, flexibility and increased productivity in your day to day business.

Our offices are located just outside of Seattle, WA. We hope you enjoy our wide range of headsets and accessories.

5.) 
Jabra

Jabra
Jabra is a leader in engineering communications and sound solutions – innovating to empower both consumers and businesses. We are committed to letting people hear more, do more, and be more than they ever thought possible. Through sound and video, we help transform lives. Jabra engineering excellence leads the way, building on 150 years of pioneering work. This allows us to create integrated headsets and communications tools that help professionals work more productively; wireless headphones and earbuds that let consumers better enjoy calls, music, and media; and pioneering video conferencing solutions, enabling seamless collaboration between distributed teams. Jabra employs approx. 1,400 people worldwide
PH: 800-826-4656

6.) 
JPL Telecom

Based in Dorset, England, JPL designs and manufactures innovative professional telecom headsets. We have a wide range of professional telecom and call centre use headsets in wired, wireless DECT and Bluetooth styles.

Making sure that your customer’s voice can be heard is vital. JPL Telecom ensures that your customer’s experience is first-class. All headsets have our Surround Shield™ noise cancellation to make certain your customer only hears what you want them to hear. Comfortable and attractively designed headsets are built to withstand the constant use in any call centre environment.

Our aim is to continuously improve customer choice, offering a fair price and value to our resellers and end users.
PH: +44 (0)1258 820100

7.) 
Unicom Services Ltd.

Contact center headsets and conference solutions
Unicom Services Ltd. is a distributor of professional headsets and communication solutions for all possible applications.

Products and Services:
* Headsets for contact center, office, small office and home, mobile phones, computer headsets and adapters.

* Conference systems - audio video terminals, personal and group multipoint conferences.

* Telecom Products - office wired and wireless phones, dect systems, softphones.

* Video conference software for contact centers and offices.

* Unified Communication Solution.
PH: +35924110203

8.) 
Xiamen Mairdi Electronic Technology Co., Ltd

Call Center Headsets
Mairdi is a professional call center headsets maker in China. We've designed, produced and exported professional communication headsets for 16 years. Our headsets were exported to over 120 countires in the world.
Our headsets are widely compatible with nearly all IP Phones, desk phones, PC and mobiles. They are all noise cancelling and with built-in hearing protection technology. Our headset accessories are Plantronics or Jabra compatible. All the headsets and accessories are CE,FCC, RoHS certificated.
PH: 0086-592-7177232
 



View more from TEO Technologies

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Is it time to upgrade your UC?: Tips, considerations and best practicesFebruary 6, 2018 5:00 AM
4 ways unified communications solutions improve your cybersecurity postureJanuary 31, 2018 5:00 AM
Are chatbots necessary in UC contact centers?January 30, 2018 5:00 AM
3 features to focus on when evaluating unified communications solutionsJanuary 30, 2018 5:00 AM
Contact center modernization: The time is now January 19, 2018 5:00 AM
What to know about using instant messaging in an enterprise settingDecember 13, 2017 5:00 AM
Security Awareness: Top Threats to UC TechnologyNovember 30, 2017 5:00 AM

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