February 1, 2023

How Delegate Certificates Determine Attestation Ratings

How Delegate Certificates Determine Attestation Ratings

Attestation ratings help consumers know whether they can trust the identities of the people and companies calling them. In some cases, service providers don’t have the information they need to provide an accurate attestation rating.

Delegate certificates ensure more carriers and other service providers pass along accurate information. This allows consumers to decide whether they want to answer incoming calls.

What Are Delegate Certificates?

Delegate certificates extend the triangle of trust (more on that in the next section), so service providers know they have accurate information about calls and their origins. Since the carrier doesn’t have the required data, it relies on a trustworthy organization to provide delegate certificates that fill in unknown information.

Delegate certificates are often used in customer-of-customer scenarios. For example, a VoIP service provider might purchase phone numbers from a carrier. Once it has the numbers, VoIP can distribute them to its clients. At this point, the original carrier isn’t aware of who owns the numbers. At most, the carrier’s system knows that the numbers were sold to a VoIP service.

What happens when the VoIP entity doesn’t have the authority to authenticate calls using the SHAKEN framework? It can turn to an organization authorized to authenticate numbers with SHAKEN. The authenticated numbers receive delegate certificates that ensure the numbers’ owner has been verified.

Now, calls coming from a verified number can have full attestation that encourages people to answer their phones. Without full attestation, it’s unlikely that many people will take the calls.

What Is the Triangle of Trust?

STIR/SHAKEN relies on a concept called the “Triangle of Trust.” At its most basic, the triangle only involves three entities:

  • Service providers that create encrypted SHAKEN PASSporTs that authenticate callers
  • Certificate authorities that issue SHAKEN certificates
  • Policy administrators that vet the SHAKEN system’s service providers and certificate authorities

Delegate certificates extend the Triangle of Trust by adding a TN service provider that has a relationship with the VoIP Entity. The TN service provider can generate delegate certificates and pass them on to other parties in the Triangle of Trust. 

The TN service provider can verify identities and number ownership by requesting an SPC token. The policy administrator generates an SPC token with a CA Boolean object set as “true.” Setting it as “true” tells the policy administrator it has a subordinate CA certificate, which only gets assigned to delegate certificates.

Now, the Triangle of Trust has reliable evidence that the VoIP number belongs to a specific organization. From here, the entities can confirm with each other that they have identical information. Once confirmed, the call gets a full attestation that helps consumers trust what their screens say.

How Are Attestation Ratings Determined?

When all three Triangle of Trust entities work together to confirm a number’s owner, you get a full attestation. This tells people they can trust the information on their caller ID screens.

Partial Attestation

You get partial attestation when the signing provider has a relationship with a caller but cannot verify that the caller owns a specific number.

Gateway Attestation

When the signing provider can’t verify the caller’s identity or whether it owns a number, you get gateway attestation. Few consumers will answer calls at this attestation level.

What Do Delegate Certificates Mean for Outbound Dialing?

Delegate certificates play critical roles in the success of outbound dialing campaigns, especially for large businesses and call centers that need the technological benefits of VoIP. 

You likely use VoIP because:

  • Numbers and services cost less than those from traditional service providers.
  • The technology scales to increases and decreases in activity.
  • Their portability lets you use remote workers as needed.
  • The flexibility that lets your team members use area codes for specific regions.

Unfortunately, the virtual numbers from a VoIP service provider might not have the attestation needed to reach wary consumers.

Delegate certificates solve that problem by verifying that you own the numbers you use. Once you have full attestation, you can expect more people to answer, which likely means you’ll see increased sales.

Test Your Attestation Rating to Reach More Leads

Even after you get delegate certificates, you might wonder whether your numbers have the full attestation you need to reach and convert leads. That’s why it’s essential to test your attestation ratings.

Caller ID Reputation lets you verify your attestation ratings. The Call Tester helps to ensure you comply with all STIR/SHAKEN standards and shows you your current attestation level. You never have to wonder or worry again.

If you want to learn more about Caller ID Reputation’s products and solutions, start a free five-day trial.