What is a PBX Phone System?

What is a PBX Phone System?
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PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange, which is a private telephone network used within a company or organization. The users of the PBX phone system can communicate within their company or organization and the outside world, using different communication channels like Voice over IP, ISDN or analog. A PBX also allows you to have more phones than physical phone lines (PSTN) and allows free calls between users. It also provides features like transfers, voicemail, call recording, interactive voice menus (IVRs) and ACD call queues.
PBX phone systems are available as Hosted or Virtual solutions (sometimes also called Centrix), and as inhouse solutions to be used on your own hardware.
PBX phone systems are usually much more flexible than proprietary systems, as they are using open standards and interfaces. Modern PBX phone systems are based on standard hardware, which is cheaper and can easier be replaced than a closed systems.
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Switching to an IP PBX offers many benefits
With an IP phone system all your internal telephony is routed through the existing LAN (local computer network). This way a separate network for telephony is not required. Even though the internal telephony is routed through the LAN, it is also possible to connect your IP-PBX via gateways to the PSTN. Of course, VoIP (Voice over IP, telephony via the internet) is also possible.
Since IP Telephony PBX PBA Doha Qatar is mostly using the open SIP standard, an IP phone system gives you a lot more freedom in your choice of phones. Basically any SIP compatible phone (VoIP phone) will work with an IP PBX. Furthermore an IP PBX doesnít limit the growth of a company. Since VOIP business phone system Doha Qatar donít have to be connected physically to the phone system, it doesnít require a free port in the phone system like it used to be with traditional phone systems. IP phones can not only be connected via the LAN but also via the internet, using for example a VPN connection. Because of this, multiple locations and offices can easily be connected.
There is a huge variety of VoIP providers on the internet which provide SIP trunking (telephony services) for cheaper call rates than traditional telephony providers. Internal calls via an IP phone system are free general.
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Firewall for VoIP PBX ñ The Importance of Securing Your Network
The term firewall refers to a security system for networks. It controls and filters traffic between two or more networks in order to protect private data and access. For safe IP telecommunication, it is not enough to secure the network, but you should also pay attention to the security measures of the IP PBX itself. While analog and ISDN phones were not in danger of cyber-attacks, simply because they were not connected to the Internet, VoIP systems are. Since all the parts of the IP telephone system and the network are interconnected, security threats can easily affect every device linked to the system.
Why use a Firewall?
For most people the term ìcyber-attackî or ìhackingî sounds very abstract. They canít really picture how an attack would look like and often underestimate the consequences. However, attacks on your networks are neither carried out by some genius masterminds with access to high-end equipment, nor are they rare.
If someone knows how, it is quite easy to find weaknesses in networks, especially if they are not well protected. There are a variety of dangers, users of a network should be aware of.
One of them are Brute Force Attacks, where attackers (bots) find out passwords and take control over your server through automated trial-and-error. In DDoS attacks bot nets flood a system with requests, rendering it inoperative. The communication protocol SIP, which is used for telecommunication, is not itself encrypted, which means that everyone can possibly look in on your conversations as a ìMan-in-the-middleî, up to a point of excerpting the audio itself. Of course, only if the network administrator was inattentive to network security.
Consequences of Cyber-Attacks against IP PBXs
High phone bills, because others use your system and let you pay for their calls
System gets ìtaken overî
Passwords get sold (for example for provider & e-mail accounts)
Call-through and fax devices are used for spam
System is used as a spam distributor
Trojans/Viruses are installed
Additional IT systems get infected (for example the internal network)
Negative impact on your customer relations
What You can do for Your Network Security
One of the most important conditions to prevent your systems from getting hacked is picking safe passwords. Of course, this does not substitute a firewall, but is just one of the basic steps you can take. Pick a password that contains letters, numbers and special characters. For example, AskoziaPBX automatically generates secure passwords for each account that is created. It is also advised to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) as a way of connecting external devices to the network.
This avoids the need for port forwarding and hosting on home routers, both of which pose serious security threats. Firewalls are the first line of defense for your network, protecting it from incoming traffic of outside networks (usually the Internet). However, a firewall with a packet filter does not just restrict incoming, but also outgoing data traffic. That is important to prevent your network devices from becoming part of a bot network. Naturally, there are different varieties of firewalls, depending on individual requirements and likelihood of threats.
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