How COVID-19 Affected the Security of Remote Workforce

COVID-19 has occasioned a swift enforced change for millions of people who have had to replace on-site working with remote work environments. These changes have been necessitated by the strict protocols and regulations that most governments have implemented to control the spread of the deadly virus. Before the Coronavirus pandemic broke out, only about 33 percent of all American employees worked remotely for at least some time. Since COVID began, the number of US employees working from home increased to 74 percent. About 49% of these workers were entirely new to the remote working experience.

This increased shift in remote working is a challenge many organizations have never had before. Productivity took precedence over security as the business operation mode changed abruptly. Businesses were forced to adopt a ‘tech on the fly’ mode to ensure operations ran smoothly by quickly sending employees to work from home.

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48 Hours with APIBAN


In this experiment, we will be testing the effectiveness of the APIBAN and see if it can single-handedly protect our server from the bad SIP traffic. It will be integrated with Asterisk PBX running on CentOS 7.

We installed Asterisk-18-rc1 on Centos 7 to collect the stats for APIBAN. LibreNMS was used to monitor all the metrics of the server running Asterisk. Asterisk PBX was configured with very basic configuration which is as follow –
1. It accepts all the SIP invites, pick up call and play an audio file (tt-monkeys)
2. Several SIP peers were configured with no password on them.

The server in the current state without APIBAN or any firewall was left open for 2 days i.e from September 18, 2020 to September 20, 2020 , The following graphs show the metrics captured by LibreNMS during that time frame.

Overall Network Traffic from September 18, 2020, to September 20, 2020
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Monitoring OpenSIPS using LibreNMS

LibreNMS is an open-source network monitoring tool. We can monitor a wide range of network devices such as Cisco, Juniper, Foundry, FreeBSD, Brocade, HP, different operating systems such as Linux, FreeBSD, Windows as well and pretty much anything that supports SNMP polling.

Its feature set includes automatic discovery, customizable alerts, API access, billing system for ports on the network, automatic updates and many more.

OpenSIPS is an Open Source carrier-grade SIP proxy/server used for SIP signalling and can handle all types of SIP operations. It’s being used by a lot of telco providers, ITSP and carriers because of its reliability and performance.


This tutorial assumes that you have OpenSIPS and LibreNMS installed and running. Here we will show you how to add OpenSIPS as an app in LibreNMS to monitor the memory usage, load and open files. If you not installed OpenSIPS or LibrenNMS yet, you can visit the following links : OpenSIPS, LibreNMS (on CentOS), LibreNMS (on Ubuntu) to get started and come back again on this tutorial when done installing. So these are the steps which we need to follow, to add OpenSIPS app in LibreNMS –

  1. Download opensips stats script
  2. Update snmpd.conf file
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