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January 4, 2021

What is STIR/SHAKEN and How Does It Work?

With the FCC’s June 30, 2021 deadline for STIR/SHAKEN implementation approaching faster than we all think, this new standard should be top of mind for operators of outbound call centers. To help, we’ve put together a new free eBook that breaks down what STIR/SHAKEN is, how the new rules impact you, and what you can do to stay focused on compliance and achieve success in spite of these new changes.

Today, we’ll focus on understanding what STIR/SHAKEN is, how it works, and why the FCC is mandating that this new standard be implemented.

According to the FCC, robocalling is the #1 complaint from consumers, with an average of 185,000 complaints filed during the last five years. As a result, in March 2020, the FCC adopted new rules requiring all originating and terminating voice service providers to implement caller ID authentication using STIR/SHAKEN standards by June 30, 2021.

STIR:

Secure Telephone Identity Revisited

SHAKEN:

Signature-based Handling of

Asserted Information Using toKENs

STIR is a working group within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), an open standards organization that develops and promotes internet standards. As such, STIR produces guidelines that form the basis of what is referred to as STIR/SHAKEN. SHAKEN defines the extensions and industry framework for the deployment and interworking of the technology in service provider networks.

To put it more simply, the STIR portion refers to the process of providing attestation that the call is legitimate. The SHAKEN part is more about how service providers should handle the call.

Why is this important? Because STIR/SHAKEN is changing the contact center space with new standards designed to combat spoofed robocalls. In the wake of a continued increase in these types of predatory robocalls, STIR/SHAKEN is aimed at protecting consumers against fraud and abuse from robocalling, providing a stronger stance against malicious robocalling, and re-establishing trust in the communications ecosystem.

Quick FCC Facts

U.S. consumers receive 100,000

unwanted robocalls every minute

47% of unwanted robocalls are illegal scams

Fraudulent calls impact 43 million Americans

each year and cost $10.5B in total losses

At its very core, STIR/SHAKEN is all about Caller ID authentication, which is a new system purpose-built to combat illegal caller ID spoofing.

Once STIR/SHAKEN is implemented, voice service providers will be able to provide more accurate caller ID information, giving consumers a better idea of which calls to answer. As explained by the FCC, “Calls traveling through interconnected phone networks would have their caller ID ‘signed’ as legitimate by originating carriers and validated by other carriers before reaching consumers.”* Basically, STIR/SHAKEN provides a digital validation for calls passing through the web of networks. This lets the consumer’s phone company verify that a call is actually coming from the number shown on Caller ID.

This type of system would make it much harder for scammers to trick consumers into answering their phones by illegally spoofing a caller ID. It would also make it easier for consumers and law enforcement to identify the source of illegal robocalls, ultimately reducing the number of these types of calls and their impact. 

Ultimately, what makes this all possible is call attestation. STIR/SHAKEN has a three-level system to categorize the essential information about the caller into levels of “attestation” for the call. These attestation levels characterize a caller’s right to use a particular number. Calls with the highest level of validation will receive an “A” rating, with “B” and “C” ratings given for calls where the identity of the caller cannot be 100% verified.

STIR/SHAKEN Attestation Levels

A-attestation

Calls must originate on carrier’s own network

Carrier has directly authenticated the caller

Carrier has verified caller’s right to use number

B-attestation

Carrier has directly authenticated the caller

Cannot verify caller’s right to use number

 C-attestation

Carrier has authenticated where it received call

Cannot authenticate the call source (e.g. International Gateway)

Stay tuned for more posts coming in this in-depth series about STIR/SHAKEN.

Read our full STIR/SHAKEN eBook to find out:

  • What STIR/SHAKEN is
  • How it works
  • How it could impact your operations
  • What you need to do right now
  • What will happen if you don’t do anything
  • Best practices for implementation
  • How LiveVox can help

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About LiveVox

LiveVox (Nasdaq: LVOX) is a next-generation contact center platform that powers more than 14 billion interactions a year. By seamlessly integrating omnichannel communications, CRM, AI, and WFO capabilities, the Company’s technology delivers an exceptional agent and customer experience while reducing compliance risk. With 20 years of cloud experience and expertise, LiveVox’s CCaaS 2.0 platform is at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation. The Company has more than 500 global employees and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Atlanta; Columbus; Denver; New York City; St. Louis; Medellin, Colombia; and Bangalore, India. To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us at @LiveVox or visit livevox.com.

To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us at @LiveVox, visit www.livevox.com or call one of our specialists at (844) 207-6663.

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