28 May What Every Business Needs to Know about STIR/SHAKEN
It’s 2020 and technology is everywhere. Almost 95% of American adults have smartphones, and robocalls to mobile phones have hit an all-time high. First Orion, a call protection company, claims that as many as 50% of calls are spam, even though they display familiar numbers. STIR/SHAKEN are two new protocols designed to help with this, and your business may be affected.
The Need for Protection Protocols
As long as there are telephone and internet, there will be people out in the world working extremely hard to take advantage of other people to make money – even in illegal and fraudulent ways. Just as you may receive emails in your inbox telling you that you are the recipient of a multi-million dollar grant, similar scams take place via telephone every day, and many are disguised as innocuous things like auto warranties or homeowners insurance. As such, new protection protocols like STIR/SHAKEN are designed to protect consumers from fraud and unsavory business practices.
The Basics of STIR/SHAKEN
STIR stands for Secure Telephone Identity Revisited while SHAKEN stands for Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs. These are new industry standards that are designed to greatly reduce the number of spam and robocalls that the average everyday consumer receives on his or her mobile device. To simplify this even further, STIR consists of technology that can be used to identify a call, and SHAKEN is a set of standards that dictates how providers handle call identification.
Unfortunately, many unsavory businesses are able to “spoof” caller ID information in order to get through to a consumer. For example, even if the caller is in another country, they are able to force their information to display a local number on the call recipient’s screen. As such, when the recipient sees the local number, he or she can decide whether to accept the call based on that information. Spoofing a trusted number is likely to get more recipients to answer, which means more companies can push their information or sales pitches on the people answering the phones.
What This Means for Consumers & Businesses
The everyday consumer benefits a great deal from STIR/SHAKEN because it helps to reduce the number of unwanted calls that he or she receives within a given day. What’s more, it makes it far more difficult for a caller to “spoof,” or essentially lie about, the number from which he or she is calling, which means consumers can trust the information about a call they see on their screens. For businesses, it means that they will need to ensure their telephony/communications providers have implemented the necessary network modifications that are required to comply with STIR/SHAKEN in order to avoid noncompliance.
Every business should check with its communications provider(s) to ensure that they are compliant with STIR/SHAKEN protocols. If not, it is important to switch to a provider that has already implemented the necessary network modifications to prevent these unwanted calls. Otherwise, your business may be victimized by spoofed numbers and dozens of unwanted telephone calls, messages, and more.