Debunking 4 Myths about Hosted PBX

Business phone technology has evolved much faster than most people realize. Not too long ago, companies that need a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system for office communications had to deal with complicated wiring systems, costly maintenance, and frequent upgrades. But now, companies can simply subscribe to a hosted PBX service, connect their hardware or mobile device to the internet, and start making and receiving calls in no time. But despite the advantages of using a hosted PBX over an on-premise solution, some companies remain reluctant to make the switch due to the various myths and misconceptions surrounding hosted PBX.

So let us set the record straight and debunk four of the most persistent myths about hosted PBX solutions:

Myth 1: Hosted PBX solutions costs more

Businesses that use on-premise PBX systems oftentimes choose to stay with their current system because they wrongfully assume that switching to a hosted PBX solution would be too expensive. Or they believe that they would have to completely overhaul their equipment. On the contrary, moving to a hosted PBX service actually helps businesses save.

You can save more with a hosted PBX solution because there is no need to upgrade or maintain costly phone equipment and other hardware. You can use your current IP-phones or BYOD with the help of an ATA adapter. You can also access your phone system using a computer, laptop, or any internet-connected device through mobile apps and desktop integration or softphones. Plus, hosted PBX systems mean companies no longer have to keep a dedicated space for their phone hardware and thus occupy lesser office space. This, in turn, helps to lower rent.

Myth 2: Call quality is poor

Hosted PBX solutions use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies to deliver high-quality calls. When VoIP was still in its infancy (over 20 years ago), call quality wasn’t as good due to unstable internet and low grade technologies. But all that has changed.

VoIP and the Internet have come a long way since then, which means call quality has vastly improved. With the right hosted PBX provider and the right internet plan, you’re sure to enjoy crystal-clear calls.

Myth 3: You’ll lose control

Another common misconception businesses have about hosted PBX solutions is that choosing one means relinquishing control of your PBX system. But the truth is quite the opposite. Your service provider hosts and handles your call platform, features, and necessary equipment, but the control is still in your hands. Hosted PBX services often come with an online admin portal that lets users manage the features and functionalities of the phone system and make it easier to use and customize to a business’ liking.

Myth 4: It’s not secure

Because hosted PBX uses the internet to transmit calls, most businesses are worried about being vulnerable to security threats. Such security threats, however, can be minimized by following best practices and, of course, by choosing the right provider. A good hosted PBX provider will have security protocols and multiple redundancies built into their network to block any potential threats and avoid any downtime.

Final Thoughts

Although hosted PBX solutions are embraced by many businesses today, some companies still fail to adopt the technology because of the many myths surrounding it. By putting these myths to rest, organizations should consider switching to a hosted PBX for the huge potential and many benefits a hosted PBX brings.

5 Best Practices to Keep Your Virtual PBX System Secure

The telecommunication requirements for startups and large enterprises vary due to size, features, equipment, etc. But there’s one thing both types of business share in common: the need for a reliable and secure communication system. With the popularity of virtual PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems, businesses now more than ever need to take measures to ensure their system is safe to avoid being vulnerable to various security threats inherent to web-based technologies.

Virtual PBX security threats are diverse and varied, but one of the most common include PBX hacking. This is where criminals penetrate your PBX system to make unauthorized calls. This can result in substantial call charges being incurred on your account.

So how can you protect yourself from PBX hacking and other more damaging security threats? Take note of the following security measures to keep you and your business safe:

  1. Use strong passwords

One of the easiest yet often overlooked security measures is setting strong passwords. Using weak passwords (such as birthdays, names, and default passwords) is like opening the door for hackers since it requires almost no effort to hack into the system.

To make sure you’re not making it easy for cyber-criminals, use strong passwords in your PBX phones and accounts for both users and administrators. This means using a password that contains a minimum of 16 characters that include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Also remember to change default admin passwords regularly, especially if you’re using modern IP PBX servers that can be configured through a web portal.

  1. Use a VPN for remote workers

If your PBX system supports a large number of mobile devices (especially if you have remote employees or staff who are constantly on-the-go), then encrypting traffic through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a wise move. With a VPN, users can access a private network securely and send and receive data remotely across shared or public networks.

  1. Monitor usage

In order to avoid fraud and to detect network-based attacks on your IP PBX system, it’s important that you monitor usage and actively track call logs and history.  Attacks on a PBX system are usually known to create an unusually large amount of network traffic, so blocking international call access to countries you don’t usually dial is a good idea.

  1. Keep your software up to date

Another way to safeguard your PBX system and your business is by keeping your PBX software updated. Typically, the most recent version of a software is often the most secure (bugs and other potential exploits are found and fixed).

When updating your PBX, remember to do a complete backup of your system (although performing regular backups of your entire system is also recommended). Also notify end users of the update, in case it will lead to some downtime.

  1. Talk to your service provider

Finally, talk to your PBX service provider. Be sure to ask about security issues such as how data is stored and transmitted, and the measures they have established in case of a network attack. This is something you would want to do even before you choose a provider.

Final Thoughts

Virtual PBX systems offer a host of benefits to startups and growing businesses, but when not managed properly, cyber-criminals can use your phone system as an opportunity to commit fraud and gain access to your confidential company data. That is why security should always remain a priority for organizations.