Evolution is incredible. Need to eat meat? That’s why we have incisors. Need to run away from predators fast? Some creatures went down on all fours to speed up. Need to use tools to climb the food chain? Hello opposable thumbs. But evolution can take hundreds of thousands of years to develop. Well, not always. Lizards in the Carolinas developed larger toepads and stickier scales in about 20 years to live higher up in the trees. Gray owls have become more brown over the last 50 years to adapt to milder winters. Heck, as we’ve become all too aware, viruses can mutate in months to weaken the efficacy of vaccines and other inhibitors. In other words, we live in a constantly changing world.

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Change isn’t just biological; it often applies to technology too. Just last year, the FCC implemented its Secure Telephony Identity Revisited (STIR) and Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENS (SHAKEN) standard, or STIR/SHAKEN, to help in the fight against robocalls. The concept is sound: stop robocallers by making phone number spoofing far more difficult. This is done by requiring voice service providers to authenticate all traffic on their networks using the STIR/SHAKEN protocol. The implementation deadline was June 30, 2021.

So how have things gone in the months since the deadline? Robocalls generally declined, but the problem is far from solved. In January 2022, 3.9 billion robocalls were placed nationwide. That’s a nearly 10 percent increase from the month before. It’s also virtually the same number of robocalls placed the month before the STIR/SHAKEN deadline came to pass. Peaks and valleys are the nature of robocalls. And unfortunately, robocallers are just as resilient as rodents, viruses, and whatever other plagues you may set out to extinguish.

It’s important to note that STIR/SHAKEN is concerned with origination over blocking. Number spoofing is simply one tool in the fraudster’s belt. It’s like taking a drill away from a handyman — sure, it might make their work more difficult, but it doesn’t mean they are no longer capable of turning a screw.

Don’t get us wrong, STIR/SHAKEN was a much-needed measure taken by the government. But

in no way is it the end-all be-all solution. For the bad actors who seek to defraud the masses, the beat goes on.

What Are Service Providers to Do?

To prevent robocalls from traversing service provider networks in real time, a zero-hour robocall mitigation strategy is in order.

Service provider robocall mitigation starts with a live call sensor network that can accurately detect robocalls in real time. A sensor network, such as YouMail’s, is capable of listening to billions of real consumer calls across all major US carriers to accurately detect threats immediately. This is an effective measure regardless of attack duration, frequency, and spoofing.

Artificial intelligence can also be utilized to identify attackers and create virtual fingerprints to follow them anywhere they go, including across spoofed DIDs and multiple service provider networks. YouMail’s patented algorithms and adaptive machine learning technology keeps service providers proactive against constantly evolving robocaller tactics.

Service providers could also build a robocall mitigation application, provided they have access to a rich API. Fortunately, YouMail’s high-performance API delivers that zero-hour protection without compromising call processing rates or setup latency. Our API includes clear documentation to accelerate development, real-time threat blocking with our embedded database license, and a self-service portal for on-demand management. And it’s all free.

The result? TRACED Act compliance, new robocall protection revenues up to $0.50 per DID per month, and better customer experiences that differentiate your service and elevate your brand.

Any service provider who employs a robocall mitigation strategy such as YouMail’s stands to benefit greatly. We’re talking 360-degree visibility across DIDs and service providers, objective evidence for call blocking that meets safe harbor, dynamic DID updates to eliminate false positives and negatives, and more.

Are you a voice service provider in need of keeping your networks free of robocalls? Download our free white paper on the critical role audio analytics plays in robocall threat mitigation programs. Or, schedule a demo to see YouMail’s service provider solution in action.

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