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Agari Q2 Email TrustIndex Shows Brands Remain Under Persistent Email Cyberattack; Banks Are 15 Times More Likely to Be Spoofed Than Other Industries

Agari, the leading provider of real-time, data-driven security solutions that detect and prevent advanced email cyberthreats, today released its 2014 Q2 edition of the Email TrustIndex.

The Q2 Email TrustIndex covers the period from April through June 2014 and provides email “threat” ratings, or the volume of cyberthreats targeted towards any given company’s consumers via email, and email “trust” ratings, or how well companies are protecting consumers from email cyberthreats. To compile the Index, Agari analyzes 6.5 billion emails per day across 11 industries to identify which companies are being targeted and which companies are taking action to prevent attacks from reaching consumers.

The Travel sector saw threat volume increase by 800% in Q2, signifying a major target for hackers. Mega Banks were found to have the highest ThreatScore in Q2, where consumers are 15 times more likely to receive a malicious email pretending to be from a major bank than they are from an airline. Health Care is still in critical condition with the lowest TrustScore of all industries. Out of the 14 health care companies analyzed, 13 classified as "easy targets" for cybercriminals.

“Quarter after quarter we are witnessing industries struggle with email security. We see countless high-profile breaches in the news where email is a stepping stone in the attack or is leveraged post-attack to steal credentials, begging the question, ‘Why are these industries not protecting themselves and their customers?’” said Patrick Peterson, Founder and CEO of Agari. “We issue these quarterly reports to encourage people to take email security more seriously. For a long time, brands couldn’t do anything to stop brand hijacking, but now they can deploy DMARC to stop brand abuse through email and protect their consumers.”

Email is the Weakest Link

The disparity in email security between the best- and the worst-performing industries is significant: of the industries surveyed, three-quarters have yet to completely implement DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, & Conformance), an open standard enabled on 70% of the world’s inboxes. DMARC is the only security solution that enables Internet-scale email protection and prevents fraudulent brand abuse for email-borne cyberattacks. Social companies have a 64% DMARC implementation rate – five times what has occurred among airlines.

Despite the importance, ubiquity and staying power of email, there are still flaws. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, as of July there have been 395 data breaches in the U.S. alone; a 21 percent increase from the same time in 2013. In Q2 2014, Agari witnessed a rise in the number and threat-level of malicious email attacks from many of the security incidents making headlines. Cryptolocker, GameOver Zeus and the recent hacking of 1 billion passwords by a Russian gang all involve security gaps from email.

Additional Key Findings in Q2:

  • Financial Services was broken down into Payments, Mega Banks (US and Europe), and Large Banks in Q2.
    • Large Banks are the least trustworthy financial institution. Every large bank evaluated was classified as an “easy target.”
  • E-tailers are excelling in email security, with online-only pioneers, such as Netflix and Newegg, leading the pack, whereas the majority of retailers are lagging in implementing best practices.
  • Social Media sites are "security rockstars" with Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter having near-perfect TrustScores.

About the Agari TrustIndex

The Agari TrustIndex contains ratings developed by Agari that reflects how fully organizations have deployed three standards (SPF, DKIM, and DMARC) across their primary active domains. While all three standards are deployed "behind the scenes" and are not directly visible to consumers in most cases, by looking at TrustIndex scores you can get a simple, easy to understand rating of how well any given organization is protecting their customers from receiving malicious email under the guise of the organization's brand and domain name. It's important to note that the Agari TrustScore reflects that level of security deployed by the organization, and is not directly related to the ThreatScore, which is an indicator of how high a level of attack is directed at an organization. A company could have a very high TrustIndex score and still have a high ThreatScore as well, as even though they've deployed effective security the bad guys are still trying to break in.

The latest copy of the Agari Email TrustIndex is available for download here.

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About Agari

Agari builds new, Internet scale, data driven security solutions that eliminate email as a channel for cyberattacks and enable businesses and consumers to interact safely. The Agari cloud-based SaaS solution aggregates data from 2.5 billion mailboxes to help global brands eliminate email threats, protect customers and their personal data, and proactively guard brand reputation. Today, Agari analyzes over 6 billion messages per day, identifies over 2 million malicious URLs per month, and blocks over 200 million malicious emails per month. Founded by the thought leaders behind Cisco’s IronPort solutions, Agari, a recipient of the JPMorgan Chase Hall of Innovation Award and recognized as a Gartner Cool Vendor in Security, is headquartered in Silicon Valley. Learn more at http://www.agari.com.

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