An Irish startup is making waves at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Velona Systems, based in Cork, announced their latest security product for online communication.

They call it a “vaccine” for threats.

Velona’s tool focuses on session initiated protocols or SIP. The company says it is the first to develop a SIP threat-focused product for any third party voice over internet protocol (VoIP) system.

Why does this matter? According to the company, there will be 5 billion more devices using VoIP technology as we transition from 4G to 5G mobile networks. Unfortunately, with so many interjected devices, a few irresponsible or ill-prepared mobile networks could put everyone at risk.

For the last couple years, security experts have noticed an increased number of cyber attacks on VoIP systems. According to IBM’s Security Intelligence Report, more than half of those cyber targets were SIP systems.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress, Tony Friar, Velona’s CTO, says telephone companies and tech firms need to work together “to ensure we do not sleepwalk our way into the same level of malware attacks we are seeing in the wider Cyberspace today.”

The team at Velona says the biggest threats from hacked mobile phones are denial of service attacks and toll fraud. A toll fraud is when someone uses a compromised system to make long-distance phone calls from another person’s account, essentially charging you for someone else’s call.

Customers can use Velona’s system, training it to detect abnormalities. If the Velona SIP security programmes detect something, it can take specific actions, like blocking the calls from illegitimate SIPs or reporting the potential intrusion.

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