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How STIR/SHAKEN Technology Supports Legitimate Outbound Dialing Programs

January 3, 2022 / Peter Eisengrein

Nearly half of the 5 billion robocalls that are made every month are estimated to be fraudulent, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It’s easy for scammers today to spoof legitimate numbers on caller ID systems, which has rendered the federal Do Not Call (DNC) list mostly useless. 

Unfortunately, this negatively impacts legitimate and legal automated outbound efforts, which helps many companies reach targeted audiences with necessary and wanted information in a cost-effective and timely manner. 

New technology aims to stop the fraudulent abuse while supporting legal and legitimate outbound calling programs. 

What is STIR/SHAKEN? 

In June 2019, the FCC implored service providers to implement a better technology to thwart the abuse. This technology must authenticate the caller at the start of a call and, in cases of abuse, either block the call or identify it as a possible spam call in the caller ID. The  Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act was signed into law at the end of 2019 and gave service providers 18 months to implement the technology. 

The industry has responded by creating a technology known as STIR/SHAKEN, which stands for Secure Telephony Identity Revisited and Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs. 

The STIR/SHAKEN protocol is similar to how web browsers authenticate webpages using digital certificates. STIR/SHAKEN includes the initial message in a SIP call and assigns a new identity header that has an encrypted token, which the terminating carrier will use to validate the caller’s authenticity. This will occur on a call-by-call basis.  

What This Means for You 

As the industry is rushing to adopt the new technology, companies that are trying to place legitimate outbound calls may affected. One of the biggest concerns is the possibility that legitimate calls will be blocked or incorrectly labeled as spam, hampering businesses’ efforts to reach their target audiences, customers, or prospects effectively. 

Partnering with a company like Evolve IP, which is actively working with vendors to implement required standards to be compliant with new regulations, while at the same time protecting the interests of their customers, will be paramount. 

For example, if you believe your number is being incorrectly marked as spam by another provider, you request the provider to whitelist your number. Evolve IP provides an updated list of major US cellular carriers with links that clients may use to request that numbers be removed from the spam list.  

Mislabeling issues can cost you dearly through a damaged reputation and lost customers. To learn more about how Evolve IP can attest your calls and support your compliance with STIR/SHAKEN, contact us today. 

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