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AOTA Reports Email Authentication Has Reached 'Tipping Point'

The Authentication and Online Trust Alliance (AOTA) announced that adoption of email and domain authentication has reached its tipping point, exceeding 50 percent in several key metrics. AOTA research highlights the top Fortune 500 and Internet retailers who have realized the business value of protecting consumers and their brands from forged email and phishing ploys through adoption of Sender ID (SIDF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), the leading standards of authentication.

Spam, phishing, and other forms of fraudulent email are ever-increasing threats to the safety of consumers and brands. Up to 80 percent of email from leading brands, banks, and ISPs is spoofed. After a five-month review of over 100 million emails from Fortune 500 brands, AOTA reports that over 50 percent of legitimate email sent worldwide on a daily basis from over 15 million domain holders is authenticated.

AOTA said those compliant brands are seeing significant benefits, including brand protection and enhanced deliverability. Brands that have not authenticated, it added, are at a competitive disadvantage and are unnecessarily exposed to spam and phishing attacks from cybercriminals.

AOTA has issued a call for compliance of all consumer-facing e-commerce and online financial services sites to adopt one or more forms of outbound email authentication for their top-level corporate domain within the next six months. While many companies have adopted authentication for their marketing sub domains, they need to focus on consumer and brand protection.

Also, all ISPs should implement inbound authentication verification, in addition to existing messaging hygiene solutions, to maximize consumer and brand protection within the next six months. This commitment by the entire Internet ecosystem is required to preserve trust and confidence in e-commerce.

AOTA reports that adoption has exceeded 50 percent in the following key industries:

  • 51 percent of the Fortune 500’s consumer-facing brands
  • 52 percent of the Fortune 500’s consumer-facing financial service brands
  • 54 percent of the Internet Retailer top 300 brands

The Fortune 500 leaders represent top brands spanning many industries, including financial organizations BB&T, Charles Schwab Corp, MetLife, Nationwide Mutual Insurance, Progressive Corp and Wells Fargo; consumer brands Amazon, BlockBuster, Home Depot, Nordstrom, OfficeMax, Target and Walt Disney; and technology leaders Dell, eBay, IBM and Microsoft.

The report is available at http://aotalliance.org/resources/authentication.

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