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Everything You Must Know about the Enforcement of STIR/SHAKEN in France

  • January 25, 2024

Telecommunication innovators invented caller ID, virtual numbers, robocalls, and similar features to benefit consumers and businesses. However, people with malign intent have misused these features to attack consumers. This nuisance needs some sort of security system to stop these attacks and protect consumers. STIR/SHAKEN solution is exactly what consumers require to identify who is calling and whether the caller ID is indicating the right information or not.

The STIR SHAKEN caller ID authentication is a more trusted method. Therefore, governments of several countries have enforced the implementation of STIR SHAKEN VoIP certification. France has joined this list of countries that have mandated STIR/SHAKEN. According to the available news, the telecom industry in France needs to implement this security mechanism by January 1st, 2024.

To give you complete insight into STIR/SHAKEN and legislation enforced by the French government, we have compiled all the necessary information in this blog post.

So, let’s discuss the details of this trending topic because the deadline for implementing STIR/SHAKEN in France is approaching really fast.

1. Understanding Robocalls and Caller ID Spoofing

To understand STIR/SHAKEN, it is necessary to understand robocalls and caller ID spoofing.

Understanding Robocalls

Using an auto dialer system, automated phone calls are made to a large number of recipients simultaneously. Moreover, these phone calls deliver pre-recorded voice messages once the recipient attends the call. These calls are known as robocalls because these calls are made by a robotic system. It does not include human interference at any point.

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The purpose of the invention of robocalls was to send information, updates, alerts, and similar types of messages via voice calls. Therefore, there are still some companies and government organizations that use this system to send updates and alerts to consumers. For example, schools, healthcare providers, government bodies, etc. use robocalls to send important messages. However, attackers use this tool for malicious purposes.

Many robocalls are considered illegal or unwanted because attackers generate them. Moreover, these calls are associated with scams, telemarketing, or fraudulent activities. As a result, consumers feel irritated and frustrated. Furthermore, robocalls are also in use to check easy and soft targets for caller ID spoofing, which is a dangerous scam and considered fraud calls.

Understanding Caller ID Spoofing

Caller ID is one of the most powerful features in the telecommunication industry. It indicates the name of the caller to the call recipient so that the recipient can choose whether he wants to attend the call or not. Moreover, innovators have also invented apps that let call recipients know caller ID even if the number is not stored. As a result, consumers have more flexibility in choices about attending or rejecting calls.

The red alert here is this caller ID is easy to temper using technology. Even the number is easy to temper. Anyone can get a virtual number from France and make a call. Moreover, attackers can also temper names and numbers both without buying a virtual number. In short, there are several features available in the technology that lets attackers or even anyone make changes to the caller ID.

Caller ID spoofing is a practice that falsifies the caller ID information displayed on a recipient’s phone. This falsified caller ID will appear as a trusted entity or a local number. For example, the call is coming from someone the recipient knows or from officials like the income tax department, traffic police, etc.

Fraudsters and scammers use the technique of caller ID spoofing to deceive recipients into answering calls, believing they are receiving a call from a legitimate source. Once the call is attended, they trick them to share sensitive information or make some financial transaction. As a result, the recipient faces losses of different types, especially financial loss.

2. Understanding STIR/SHAKEN and its Role in Combating Caller ID Spoofing

Caller ID Spoofing

STIR/SHAKEN is an important mechanism to combat the nuisance of robocalls and caller ID spoofing. Moreover, it is an effective way to implement this security mechanism. It does not need any added steps to take on the consumer side. Moreover, it consolidated the security and safety of consumers.

Understanding STIR/SHAKEN

STIR/SHAKEN (Secure Telephone Identity Revisited / Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using tokens) plays a pivotal role in combating caller ID spoofing. It provides a standardized framework for authenticating and verifying caller ID information.

The role of STIR in STIR/SHAKEN is caller ID authentication. STIR utilizes a cryptographic mechanism to sign calls. This information is used to ensure the trustworthiness of the caller ID.

The role of SHAKEN is to verify the signed caller ID information. It ensures that the caller ID is legitimate and is not tempered in any way.

As a combined solution, the STIR SHAKEN call authentication process ensures authentication, preservation, and verification of caller ID.

Role of STIR/SHAKEN in Combating Caller ID Spoofing

STIR/SHAKEN is one of the most powerful mechanisms to combat caller ID spoofing. At the call origination, the telephone operator attaches the digital signature to the caller ID. This signature cannot be tempered by the attacker. At the recipient’s end, the verification takes place. The telecom operator at the receiving end will decrypt and verify the caller ID. Moreover, the information is displayed on the caller ID about the verification. As a result, the call recipient will get a caller ID. Moreover, he or she will also get information on whether the caller ID is legitimate or not. As a result, the STIR/SHAKEN solution adds an added layer of security to ensure that the caller ID is not spoofed by any means.

3. STIR/SHAKEN Related Law Enforced by the Government in France

ARCEP (Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques, des Postes et de la Distribution de la Presse) is the telecommunication regulator in France. This telecommunication regulatory body has been strongly recommending the implementation of STIR SHAKEN call authentication. Certainly, the government is interested in making VoIP based communication secure in France like the USA. In addition to the recommendations, the telecom regulatory had given a timeline to telecom operators operating in France to implement STIR/SHAKEN.

As per the available information, the last date to implement this solution is the 31st of December 2023. Certainly, the 1st of Jan 2024 is the date when all French telecom operators need to get the STIR/SHAKEN implementation to add the much needed layer of security.

4. Benefits of Implementation of STIR/SHAKEN in France

caller ID authentication

There are several advantages of implementing this security mechanism in the VoIP network in France. Certainly, it will bring a revolutionary change in the telecommunication industry in France.

Let’s take a look at the major benefits of implementing this VoIP security mechanism.

Counter the Nuisance of Robocalls and Spoofed Calls

According to the available statistics, France is in the list of top 5 countries that receive maximum robocalls. Moreover, this country also faces a lot of caller ID spoofing complaints. Certainly, it receives 20% of total robocalls received across the world. Undoubtedly, this is worrisome news for the government and consumers. Therefore, it is necessary in the modern era to counter these types of calls and give delightful experiences to customers.

Definitely, there are several security mechanisms available that can help in combating robocalls and caller ID spoofing. However, STIR SHAKEN caller ID authentication is the most trusted way to counter these attacks. Certainly, this technique has proven its worth to combat these attacks in the USA and multiple other countries. Therefore, the telecom regulatory body in France has enforced the implementation of this mechanism. Unquestionably, a successful implementation of STIR/SHAKEN will control robocalls and caller IDs. This will create a win-win situation for everyone because it will benefit consumers, telecom operators, and the government.

Increased Customer Trust and Loyalty

Customers are afraid of using VoIP telephony due to increasing threats of spoofed calls. Implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN protocol will help in regaining the confidence of consumers. They will get information about the caller. Moreover, they will also receive whether the caller ID is verified and authenticated or not. Furthermore, STIR SHAKEN will also provide information on possibly spoofed caller IDs. Altogether, all these features of this security mechanism will give more reliable telephony services to consumers. As a result, the customer will have more trust in their providers and their services. Furthermore, this will increase clientele and customer loyalty for telecom operators.

Reduce Telephony Frauds

Certainly, if the government in France cannot control robocalls and spoofed calls, then it will persistently grow. Moreover, it will increase fraud attacks on end users. However, the mandate of STIR/SHAKEN in France will ensure that all telecom operators adopt this security mechanism. As a result, they can provide the required protection from these known telephony frauds.

You can learn more details about STIR/SHAKEN Solution A Complete Guide for Beginners to Experts in our complete guide. This guide shares all the details of what this security protocol is and how it works. Moreover, it covers all facts to give insightful information to beginners and experts.

Consolidates Security

Robocalls and caller ID spoofing are two known concerns in a majority of countries, including France. STIR/SHAKEN implementation controls these security threats. In addition to that, it also helps in providing protection from other common threats. As a result, a more secure telephony network is created for consumers in France.

5. Challenges Associated with STIR/SHAKEN in France

Undoubtedly, all telecom operators have to implement STIR/SHAKEN in France before the deadline. However, there are several challenges that are making this process sluggish.

Unclear Guidelines

STIR/SHAKEN implementation has been made mandatory by several countries, including the USA. However, the problem with its implementation in France is unclear guidelines. According to the sources, there is no clarity on how this solution has to be implemented. Moreover, there are no clear indicators of what is expected from operators. Clearly, there is a lack of detail in the law. As a result, several telecom operators are in a dilemma about what to do. However, there are several companies in France that have already implemented this security mechanism, which is keeping other players under pressure for quick implementation.

Associated Cost

Implementation of STIR SHAKEN VoIP is easy with the right provider. However, it is not just software installation. Certainly, telecom operators have to make changes in their infrastructure, existing software, policies, and more. Furthermore, they may have to make technical upgrades to the software they use. All these changes require significant investment from French operators. Additionally, it will add ongoing costs on maintenance and upgrades to keep the system well maintained. Definitely, this is quite challenging for small scaled telecom operators in France.

Training and Adoption

Certainly, it is not a huge challenge, but it is worth consideration. Telecom operators need to train their staff to use this security tool more profoundly. Moreover, they also need to keep their customers informed about the changes going on. Possibly, the network may go down while the implementation process is going on. As a result, customer service may be hampered. Therefore, telecom operators need to keep their clients informed about these challenges.

Finding the Right Provider

Implementation of STIR SHAKEN is a cakewalk if you get the right and experienced VoIP development companies. Definitely, as per the speculation, telecom regulations in France have several open ends with their policies to implement STIR SHAKEN. However, it is mandatory to implement. Therefore, it is inevitable to find the right provider who knows the job and does it seamlessly for French operators.

Concluding Note

In short, the telecommunication regulations in France have mandated the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN to protect its end users from major threats. Definitely, there are several advantages to using this security means in France. Moreover, it also assures compliance with legislation. As a result, French telecom operators have to implement this security tool. However, it causes several challenges. Therefore, it is necessary to find the right partner that can make this implementation seamless.

We have experience in offering consultation, as well as STIR/SHAKEN implementation services. To send your inquiries and to discuss more about our STIR/SHAKEN solution, contact us.