Securing your 3CX Phone System: Best Practices and Tips
At Foppex, we know how important it is to ensure that your communications system is secure. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on securing your 3CX phone system. Whether you’re a small business owner or an IT professional, we’ve got you covered.
3CX is a popular software-based IP phone system used by businesses of all sizes. While it offers many benefits, including cost savings and increased flexibility, it also presents security challenges. Hackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities to exploit, and if they gain access to your 3CX system, they can potentially eavesdrop on calls, steal sensitive data, and even make fraudulent calls at your expense.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the best practices for securing your 3CX system and preventing hacking and data breaches. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your phone system stays safe and secure.
Why is Securing your 3CX Phone System Important?
If you are using 3CX to manage your business’s phone system, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to keep it secure. As with any technology, there are always risks of hacking and data breaches, but with the right practices in place, you can greatly reduce those risks.
Your 3CX communications system is the lifeline of your business. It’s where you handle all your internal and external communication. Without proper security measures in place, you run the risk of losing sensitive information, exposing your business to cyber threats, and damaging your reputation.
Best Practices and Tips for Securing Your 3CX Phone System
To secure your 3CX phone system and prevent hacking and data breaches, consider implementing the following best practices outlined below.
- Secure the 3CX management console by using a strong password: Passwords are the first line of defense when it comes to securing your 3CX system. Make sure you’re using strong, unique passwords for all your privileged user accounts. It is very crucial to ensure VoIP security by setting a strong management console password during installation. It is likely that your PBX server is running a Windows or Linux operating system if it is housed on non-proprietary hardware. For system administrators to do maintenance chores, such systems often offer a remote administration interface, like RDP or SSH. Attackers have a history of deliberately and heedlessly going after these services by initiating brute-force attacks against popular usernames on the network. Hence, it is crucial to secure these user accounts with strong passwords. To set the management console password, go to security, root credentials and you can set a strong password from there.
- Keep your 3CX phone system up to date: One of the best ways to keep your 3CX phone system secure is to make sure it’s always up to date. This means installing the latest security patches and software updates. Outdated software is a major security risk, as it can leave your system vulnerable to known exploits. Make sure to keep your system updated and enable automated security updates. Click on the updates tab to check for updates as shown in the figure below. It is advisable to turn on automatic security updates to keep your system current and secure. Periodic security patches are applied to modern operating systems. Ensure your operating system is always up to date by applying patches that are released periodically to fix security vulnerabilities.
- Set strong passwords for your extensions’ IP phones and web clients: The IP phones in an IP PBX phone system are another place where passwords are utilized. Avoid having default password or a blank one, even if some PBX servers will let it. Give each extension’s IP phone a different, secure password. Making the mistake of using the same password as the extension name or default IP Phone password compromises VoIP security on PBX systems, which is a typical and classic error. This is one of the first things that attackers will try to exploit because they are well aware of this behavior.
If the IP phone is manually provisioned, ensure to change the default password from the phone’s web interface. In addition, set a strong password for web authentication if you enable the web client of a 3CX extension as shown below.
- Regularly back up your data: Regularly backing up your data is important in case of a security breach or other disaster. Make sure you’re backing up your data on a regular basis and storing it in a secure location. You should also test your backups regularly to make sure they’re working correctly.
- Harden the OS: Ensure that you disable any unnecessary services on the operating system of your PBX system and identify any security vulnerabilities. This will harden the operating system and can help reduce the attack surface of your system and make it less vulnerable to exploits. In addition, tweaking some specific settings on the OS can make the base OS more secure. For example, on Windows it is recommended to disable LM (LAN Manager) and NTLM (NT LAN Manager) v1 unless it is needed.
- Update IP phones firmware: Hardware Firmware updates for SIP phones occasionally include security updates. Attackers have used vulnerable SIP phones as listening devices by taking advantage of security holes in the firmware. You may maintain your IP phones updated to the most recent firmware version and reduce security incursions by using 3CX’s firmware upgrade tool.
- Monitor Your System: Make sure you’re monitoring your 3CX system for any signs of suspicious activity. This can include monitoring access logs, monitoring network traffic, and setting up alerts for unusual activity.
- Use an Intrusion Detection System (IDS): An Intrusion Detection System (IDS) is a tool that helps in identifying potential attacks and notifies system administrators and security analysts when it detects an attempted attack or intrusion. There are two types of IDS: host-based and network-based. A host-based IDS analyzes log files, file system modifications, and event logs. On the other hand, a network-based IDS monitors activity across the network.
- Segregate where possible: Because business networks have diverse requirements, there is no fixed solution for segregating business phone networks. Nevertheless, dedicating time to plan for this can yield several benefits. Segregated networks often experience less congestion, which is especially noticeable during peak hours. Furthermore, if an issue arises on one network, it remains contained, and other areas of the business can function normally. In addition to the advantages of improved security and localized failure, segregated networks typically experience lower congestion, which leads to better performance. Segregating networks for various departments may not be appropriate for every business. However, if you are interested in doing so, we suggest that you speak to your IT provider.
The recent vulnerabilities discovered in 3CX serve as a reminder of the importance of staying vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity. By following best practices for securing your 3CX phone system, including updating to the latest version, using strong passwords, and limiting access to your system, you can help protect your business from hacking and data breaches.
Implementing VoIP security in an IP PBX is straightforward and can safeguard VoIP phone systems from network attacks that could compromise their security.
Get your 3CX Phone System now!
Utilize the 3CX phone system to hasten the growth of your business or organization. Foppex can help with your 3CX implementation and integration. You can also buy 3CX licenses directly from www.shop.foppex.com
Contact us for a FREE consultation.