Online Travel and Internet Retail Most Vulnerable to Email Attack
This month, Agari published its first Email TrustIndex, a composite score on a scale of 1, lowest level of security, to 1000, the highest level of security, that measures email attack vulnerability and email trust by industry. The first TrustIndex analyzed four industries: Social Media, Internet Retail, Online Travel and Financial Services. The finding? Online Travel and Internet Retail rated least trusted and most vulnerable to email attack.
The intent of the TrustIndex is to equip businesses with a tool to evaluate the security of its email channel and its infrastructure’s readiness to repel a phishing attack or other cyber fraud that can hurt a company’s reputation.
“We believe that by exposing the trust factor and its actual impact on reputation and consumer behavior, Agari creates an awareness that can preserve the integrity of today’s most widely used communications channel,” says Patrick Peterson, founder and CEO of Agari.
Based on the findings of the TrustIndex, Agari reports:
- Social media, a favorite target of cyber criminals, scored the highest on the Email TrustIndex. A secure email channel is critical to achieving and sustaining viral adoption so it is not surprising that Social Media companies would be the leaders in taking on cyber criminals and finding new ways to secure their email channel. Further, as more businesses, including small- and medium-sized businesses, use social media to grow their businesses and introduce new marketing approaches, there will be continued focus on maintaining high security levels.
- Financial Services, coming in as a close second to Social Media, has been working across the industry to combat cyber crime to protect their customers and reputations. In fact, leading Financial Services organizations FS-ISAC and BITS took the dramatic step earlier this year of adopting the Email Trusted Registry and partnering with technology firms, such as Agari, to aid its members in securing their email channels.
- Internet Retail scored much lower on the TrustIndex when compared to Social Media and Financial Services, putting these firms at high risk of an attack. According to a recent IDC report, “Ten years ago, government, financial services, and very large enterprises were the target of cybercriminal activity, but over the past five years, attacks have enlarged their scope to even commercial SMBs offering high-value targets (e.g., financial information, intellectual property, and other proprietary data).” Cyber criminals are shifting away from their traditional targets of government, financial services and very large enterprises to commercial SMBs. In time, there will be broader adoption of security standards as this emerging industry matures and implements new technologies.
- Online Travel scored the lowest on the TrustIndex with a score less than half the score of Social Media, which is alarming given the surge in phishing attacks over the past six months that have included Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines, American Airlines and a Brazilian Airline, TAM, to name a few. Consumer trust in email messages and willingness to purchase online will be impacted. According to a recent Gartner report, “40% of U.S. consumers have altered their online behavior due to safety concerns, which has reduced their level of trust in email messaging and online shopping.” Financial Services firms could serve as a model for how the online travel and airline industry could collectively take action against phishing and other cyber scams.
To reach the highest level of security ratings, organizations are encouraged to adopt DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance), which combats cyber fraud through a process of sharing feedback between legitimate email senders and receivers.
Agari was one of 14 companies that include Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and AOL, that launched DMARC earlier this year. Just this week, Agari announced that American Greetings is using DMARC for its many millions of e-Card users. Rather than build their own DMARC reporting platform, which would require time, money and human resources, American Greetings Interactive elected to deliver DMARC through Agari.
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