There have been endless communication advancements in today’s business office environment with phone systems as the backbone of the workplace. Business owners may overlook their phone system capabilities when making decisions about which office technology to upgrade.

Estimated read time: 5 minutes

Businesswoman using mobile phone while standing next to open car door.

Can Office Phones Compromise Security?

Most people think of office phones as a one-and-done piece of equipment. You buy them, plug them in, enter a few pieces of information and you’re all set. The information included here may just change that perspective.

When it comes to today’s business phone systems, computers are the brains behind the phone system and much like the laptop on your desk, phone systems require software updates, patches and other critical maintenance to keep them secure. If you don’t have an IT team managing these activities, there is a high probability that they are out of date. Moreover, if it’s been too long since the last update, the phone system’s software may not support any more upgrades leaving them even more vulnerable.

In a recent radio interview, Adam Jurgens, Hamilton New Business Developer, shared a story where a company unexpectedly had its phone system compromised. Unbeknownst to the company, their system was hacked and their phone number was being used by a bad actor to make international phone calls, all on the company’s dime. The company didn’t realize it until they received their next phone bill where the total amount owed was at a significant cost. Take a listen to the interview and learn other important details that Adam shares.

Estimated watch time: 5 minutes, 30 seconds.

When you think about how today’s offices operate, it is more and more common that not all staff members work in the same location. Companies have become more accustomed to hiring employees who work remotely or who follow a hybrid work schedule. These individuals must remain connected to the business in a seamless format while safeguarding the business’s data from vulnerabilities.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported in their 2023 Internet Crime Report that in the U.S. in 2023 alone, there were $12.5 billion recorded losses due to cybercrimes. Of that total, over $18 million were the result of phishing/spoofing tactics.1 Businesses must keep their proprietary and confidential information security at the forefront, especially in today’s mobile world. This is where a phone system becomes an important office need. Hosted phone systems (often called cloud-based phone systems), have the necessary software and technology backing them up to offer protection both in the office and when being used in a mobile setting. In addition, hosted phone systems can fulfill the security requirements that many industries require for compliance. 

Here are a few of the most important security features your business phone system should support, no matter the industry:

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) – TLS is a cryptographic security protocol that provides end-to-end security for communications over the internet. An example of TLS is encrypting the communication between web applications and servers, such as web browsers loading a website. You will want to make sure your phone system supports this layer of security.
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) Provisioning – You likely have seen https at the beginning of many website URLs, but do you know what it means? The “S” in HTTPS stands for “Secure” and is the secure version of HTTP. HTTP is the primary protocol used to send data between a web browser and a website. HTTPS is encrypted in order to increase security of data transfer.
  • Password Login – A password login is a series of numeric and/or alphabetic code that prevents access to outsiders. This can be often overlooked as a security measure with phones. Adding a password is another layer of protection that phone system users should incorporate.
  • Digest Authentication – Digest authentication is a way for service providers to verify a person’s credentials by using a web browser. As opposed to basic authentication, digest authentication uses a value for the password transmitted to the requesting server. The server then uses the digest value for password comparison and validation to ensure that it is correct.

Ownership Matters

Similarly, a company must protect itself when employees travel for business and use portable equipment like tablets and phones. It’s best practice for a company to issue its employees company-owned devices so that they retain the security and ownership of the data on that device. When business owners focus on owning every piece of equipment, they can better secure the information that employees use.  In some cases, businesses are not able to provide company-owned equipment and a personal device needs to be used. When providing a company-owned device is not an option, there are other security options and best practices a business should follow to secure data on employee-owned devices.

Securing Data on Employee-Owned Devices

As a means of protection, many business owners choose to work with Hamilton to help them deploy a hosted phone system. A hosted phone system gives employees the flexibility and convenience of taking calls and receiving messages from a mobile device while also offering the company protection of the data by way of an integrated app.

The app technology incorporated with the hosted phone system connects the physical desk phone with the mobile device, offering benefits such as seamless call handling on the desk phone or mobile device while also protecting the businesses data from hackers and malware. This means when a client or prospect calls the employee, the call rings through to the employee’s mobile device using the company-owned phone number, via the aforementioned app.

Another benefit of a hosted phone system is that it is flexible and secure in adding and removing employees. Should an employee leave, the business retains access to and can easily remove company information contained on the device.

As office phones are often overlooked from a security perspective, it is important to consider the security of your current office phones and the data running through them. If you are interested in upgrading to a hosted phone system for your business, Hamilton can help you identify security concerns and support your business requirements. With solutions tailored to your business needs, we will help you protect your business with personalized, and trusted support from our team of experts. Give us a call at 308-381-1000 to schedule a free consultation.


  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation “Internet Crime Report 2023” –
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You can find more information on business phones in Phoned In: The Benefits of Upgrading Your Business Phone System.

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