What is the first thing you think of when you hear “Cyber Security“?

29th November 2021

Article written by Joe Newton (Technical Manager at Connexis) for Shropshire Business Magazine.

What is the first thing you think of when you hear “Cyber Security “? Your telephone system?

I didn’t think so! And in the old days it wasn’t really a consideration; you had internal telephones wired directly into a box on the wall, probably under the stairs or in the cleaner’s cupboard, which was then connected to external telephone lines that were used exclusively for voice. Setting a password on your voicemail was a good idea, to protect your privacy and to protect you from fraud, but that was about it.

In the modern world however, things are very different.

With the ISDN/PSTN switch off in 2025 fast approaching, your business either already has a modern IP telephone system, or will need to upgrade to one soon. Also, in a post COVID world, most businesses will require some element of remote working, to name just one of the many benefits to upgrading.

To explain why this affects your cyber security strategy, let’s take a step back and talk about why on a weekly basis your PC asks you to install updates.

Updates generally provide one of three things: new features, fixes to features that don’t work correctly (bug fixes), and most importantly security patches. The reason that security patches are so important is that no matter how well it is written, all software has flaws, and it is in finding and exploiting those vulnerabilities that hackers are able to gain access to your systems. The most dangerous of these are called “zero day” exploits, because no one yet knows about them, and therefore systems aren’t patched against them – skilled hackers can find these  vulnerabilities and use them to penetrate you network. However most flaws are found and patched, so the easiest way for someone to attack your network is to find a documented weakness, and then attack those systems that have yet to be patched.

For all of our on-premise telephony solutions, Connexis offer software assurance packages to keep your system up to date.

What about Cloud, surely then the system is kept up to date by the provider?

That is true, however most cloud providers use 3 rd party handsets, moving the problem from the server room to the desk. If your handsets are provisioned by the cloud provider then they should update them for you, however you should find out how often they push out these updates, and how long after the manufacturer releases them. “Bring Your Own Device” solutions are far riskier as you are responsible then for updating the software on every single phone. The better solution is to use a cloud provider that has proprietary handsets, such as Wildix, as updates are then made available to you as soon as they are released.

As Shropshire’s leading independent communications provider, and cyber security experts, Connexis can help you navigate this minefield, and ensure that you get the best available functionality without exposing yourself to unnecessary risk. Call 01952 528000 or email sales@connexis.co.uk.

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