Neustar and ATIS Enhance STIR/SHAKEN Validation

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  November 28, 2022

The drop in temperatures and the holiday season that has just kicked off officially have brought a resurgence of scammers. It's not a concidence: Along with Black Friday (News - Alert) and Cyber Monday sales, a spike in scams is a certainty during the holidays. One technique bad actors use, mainly with utility scams, is called illegal caller ID spoofing, which is used to misrepresent the source of a phone call to further mislead and confuse their targets

The FCC (News - Alert) required carriers to implement STIR/SHAKEN to crack down on illegal caller ID spoofing and protect Americans from costly scams. However, sometimes that isn’t enough to push back the barrage. Therefore, Neustar, a TransUnion company, and ATIS introduced the ATIS (News - Alert) Robocalling Testbed to help remove obstacles and accelerate the validation of caller authentication standards like STIR/SHAKEN throughout North America.

The testbed enables communications service providers, equipment manufacturers and software suppliers to collaborate to remotely test solutions, validating the effectiveness of caller authentication standards developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force and ATIS.

“Since its founding in 2017, the ATIS Robocalling Testbed has ensured that STIR/SHAKEN standards are shaped by real-world experience – and it has also proved essential in validating the effectiveness of these measures for the industry,” said James Garvert, senior vice president of communications solutions at Neustar.

Looking to extend features and functionality to enterprises, Neustar and ATIS expanded the ATIS Robocalling Testbed to help restore trust within the phone channel. The testbed was migrated to a virtual, flexible cloud-based architecture that supports the latest ATIS capabilities, including delegate certificates, out-of-band SHAKEN to support legacy TDM networks and rich call data.

The testbed also features the SIP 603+ standard. Basically, the standard provides insights into why a call was blocked instead of using the basic “decline” phrase. In addition, the testbed incorporated Neustar Trust Lab's Automation Dashboard capability to simplify testing.

“Enterprises should know that they can now use the testbed to directly participate in call authentication,” said Susan Miller (News - Alert), ATIS president and CEO. “This includes signing their calls using delegate certificates and RCD, both solutions based on ATIS standards, which will help consumers regain confidence in answering their phones.”

The testbed, open to service providers with an assigned OCN maintained by NECA, continues its support of interoperability across the globe with cross-border call authentication between the U.S. and Canada enabled. With these enhancements, Neustar and ATIS help CSPs and businesses protect consumers from robocalls and illegal caller ID spoofing, increase answer rates and improve the customer experience.

Edited by Erik Linask