What Is Attestation and How Will It Impact Your Traffic?

October 16, 2020

Spam calls have long been a problem and communication service providers have struggled to overcome them. From 2017 to 2018 alone, spam calls increased from 3.7% of total calls to 29.2%. Whether these calls are fraudulent or sales-driven, they impact the way recipients handle their calls.

The STIR/SHAKEN standards are a recent solution, which aim to mitigate this problem so customers trust incoming calls. These innovative standards verify the source of incoming calls in order to reduce the risk of spoofed robocalls.

And if you’re familiar (or already implemented) STIR/SHAKEN, you may have heard of the term “attestation”.

But what is it, and how does it impact your traffic?

Attestation is a crucial part of the STIR/SHAKEN process and includes three categories to determine essential information about the caller by evaluating the “attestation” level of each call. These attestation levels distinguish a caller’s validity to use a specific number

Read on to learn more about the attestation process, how it works, and why it’s essential for improving the quality of your incoming traffic. 

What Is Attestation In Practice?  

Simply put, it’s the process that investigates the caller to determine their legitimacy. Many would call it the most important part of STIR/SHAKEN.  

In the STIR/SHAKEN process, attestation occurs when the originating telephone service provider verifies the call’s source and call number to attest the incoming number’s authenticity. 

After completing this check, the incoming call is given one of three types of attestation: 

  • Full Attestation. If full attestation is awarded, the service provider can authenticate the customer who originated the call is authorized to be using the calling number. 

  • Partial Attestation. If partial attestation is awarded, the service provider can authenticate the customer originated the call. However, they are unable to verify this customer is authorized to be using the calling number. 

  • Gateway Attestation. If gateway attestation is awarded, the service provider can authenticate the call’s origination, but they cannot verify the source of the call. This level of attestation is usually awarded to international gateway calls. 

These three levels of attestation indicate the level of confidence the carrier has about the caller’s identification. 

But it isn’t always that simple. It’s important to understand the attestation process is not always straightforward. While some calls may appear inauthentic, they may simply come from an unverifiable source — and still originate from a legitimate business. For this reason, the process uses three levels of attestation to improve its accuracy.

Let’s look at these three levels in more detail. 

Full Attestation 

If a call is assigned full attestation, it means: 

  • The carrier is responsible for originating the call 

  • The carrier has a pre-existing direct relationship with the customer who is making the call and can authenticate and identify this caller 

  • The carrier can verify an association with the number used to make the call 

Partial Attestation 

When a call is given partial attestation, it means: 

  • The carrier is responsible for originating the call 

  • The carrier has a pre-existing direct relationship with the customer who is making the call and can authenticate and identify this caller 

  • The carrier cannot verify any association with the specific telephone number used to make the call 

In cases of partial attestation, the carrier cannot be 100% certain the caller’s ID has not been spoofed despite being able to verify the call’s origin.

Gateway Attestation 

In cases of gateway attestation, it means: 

  • The carrier is considered the entry point of the incoming call into the VoIP network 

  • The carrier does not have an existing relationship with the caller 

In this situation, the carrier cannot verify the caller’s ID and is only able to determine where the call enters the network.

What Does Attestation Mean for Your Call Traffic? 

The attestation process involved in STIR/SHAKEN is crucial for increasing your outgoing call traffic. If your business makes plenty of customer calls, especially cold calls to new potential clients, the attestation standards may encourage some customers to pick up the phone. 

This happens because the attestation process can result in a “valid call” symbol, which may encourage customers to pick up the phone from a business they trust. But it can also discourage them if they suspect it’s a sales call. The attestation process gives providers the necessary information to determine call treatment for each call.

New developments in STIR/SHAKEN standards should further improve the attestation process.

When it comes to incoming calls — your business will also benefit from reduced spam calls. This process can help your employees identify fraudulent and spam calls, reducing exposure to scams.

Interested in STIR/SHAKEN? Get Started with Inteliquent Today  

STIR/SHAKEN is an excellent way to ensure your incoming calls are most likely safe.

Fraudulent and spoofed calls have become increasingly frequent and can cause a range of problems for your business. The FCC mandates every telecommunications user implements this process to verify the identity of all incoming calls.

Are you interested in learning more about STIR/SHAKEN standards? Get in touch with a member of the Inteliquent team today.

WRITTEN BY SUZY MYERS

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