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How to Protect Your Hotel PBX from Toll Fraud

A hotel has many moving pieces that need to be monitored and managed.  One of those pieces is your phone system.

While the emergency of new technology has made the management of your hotel phone system easier, it also brings the possibility of serious security breaches, or even toll fraud.

And it’s not just hotels and resorts that are at risk; every year, billions of dollars are lost to hackers who gain access to phone systems and make fraudulent calls.  No one wants to experience a loss of profits or the release of confidential information, so it’s extremely important to do everything you can to safeguard the heart of your hotel’s phone system.

In order to help protect your hotel PBX from toll fraud, we’ll explain how these security breaches can occur and what you can do to prevent them.

What is Toll Fraud?

Toll fraud occurs when a hacker is able to take control of your phone system and make fraudulent calls to premium numbers in distant countries.  The rates for calls made to these locations can be as much as several dollars a minute.

Hackers can gain control of a PBX by taking advantage of some of the following situations:

  • A PBX is not protected by a firewall, thus leaving it open to attack.
  • Your PBX’s password is easy to guess or crack.
  • Your IVR or voicemail have simple passwords, allowing the hacker to gain access to dialing plans.

Protect Your Hotel PBX from Toll Fraud

By implementing some of the following precautionary methods below, you can help protect your hotel PBX from toll fraud.

Implement stronger passwords
Although it may seem simple, a strong password can be your best defense against toll fraud.  If you’ve chosen an easy-to-crack password, or even left your PBX’s password as the factory-set default, you are at a higher risk for toll fraud.

You can reduce your risk by resetting your PBX’s default password, taking care to choose a password that has at least eight characters.  Your new password should include some combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.  It’s also a good idea to change your passwords periodically, taking care to update them whenever employees leave the company.

Restrict call forwarding options
Fraudulent call routing is avoidable by restricting certain call forwarding options on your phone system.  You can allow pre-determined numbers to access the forwarding settings you need, while other numbers will be blocked from this feature.  These restrictions will help ensure that no unwanted routing situations are taking place on your system.

Review your call logs regularly
In some situations, fraudulent calls may be taking place on your system without your knowledge.  Because of this, it’s extremely important to review and monitor your phone system’s call logs.  By regularly reviewing these logs, you’ll not only be able to spot out-of-place calls, but also have a better understanding of everything taking place on your system.

Protecting Your Hotel’s Phone System

By following some of these basic security tips, you can protect your hotel PBX from toll fraud.  If you’re looking for more resources on keeping your phone system secure in the cloud, explore the related articles below: