Flowroute’s STIR/SHAKEN Protocols

Posted on April 22, 2020

Communications decision makers are likely familiar with STIR/SHAKEN and the impacts these standards have on the telecommunications industry.

As a quick refresher, STIR, known as Secure Telephony Identity Revisited, and SHAKEN, Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs, are telecom industry standards that allow communications service providers (CSPs) to cryptographically sign calls in the SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) header.

These standards help to reduce the number of illegally spoofed calls and restore trust in the industry. The STIR/SHAKEN procedure leverages public infrastructure to verify the authenticity of the call origin. The SIP headers mentioned above indicate whether the party originating the call is authorized to use the number by three attestation fields: A, B and C. These fields help categorize how to verify or attest the validity of a number. To learn more about the three levels of attestation, read our blog post, “STIR/SHAKEN 101.”

Most carriers have already started implementing and deploying STIR/SHAKEN protocols to verify callers and numbers. Flowroute has taken active measures to stop illegal robocalling. Our STIR/SHAKEN deployment is taking place in phases, with the current phase involving code-level upgrades to our switching platform and lab testing. To ensure the highest protection for our customers, we have partnered with Ribbon Communications (Ribbon) and Neustar to combat robocalling and call spoofing with enhanced tools.

Ribbon and Neustar are bringing together the carrier and CSP community to define STIR/SHAKEN implementation best practices. Both companies are developing tools to guide businesses and service providers through these industry changes. Neustar, for example, has created the ATIS Robocalling Testbed.

This tool is part of the company’s Trust Lab and serves as the industry interoperability test facility to validate the effectiveness of caller authentication standards that have been developed by the Internet Engineering Task force and The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS). It was ATIS that developed SHAKEN to mitigate call spoofing on cloud-based networks. Any CSP with an assigned operating company number is eligible to participate in the Testbed.

As leading CSPs, carriers and IT providers embrace collaboration with one another they will help to deliver comprehensive tools to quickly detect suspicious calls and notify businesses and customers of potential illegal robocalls and spoofed calls. By doing so, they will help restore trust in the communications industry.

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