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Enterprise fails at email authentication attempts

A new report from email authentication firm ValiMail has revealed that 75 per cent of large businesses currently attempting to implement the DMARC email authentication standard are unable to use it to block unauthorised emails.

To gather information for its report, the company reviewed the email authentication policies of over a million business domain names from Fortune 1000, NASDAQ 100 and FTSE 100 businesses, in an effort to gauge how effective they were at controlling unauthorised email.

Alexander Garcia-Tobar, ValiMail's CEO, explained the results of ValiMail's report, saying: “Our investigation showed that using email authentication to monitor and control unauthorised email is extremely difficult for the majority of global companies. You might expect larger businesses with more resources to do a better job of governing the email going out under their names, but we found that most of them still miss the mark.”

The report also found that of those companies currently trying to implement email authentication, almost 75 per cent have not begun to enforce their new policies. ValiMail noted that larger companies have dedicated more resources towards attempting email authentication while smaller companies still lag behind. So far NASDAQ 100 companies are leading the charge to implement the practice with 43 per cent already doing so.

All of the companies ValiMail reviewed had a failure rate between the range of 62 per cent to 80 per cent with the average being in the middle at 75 per cent.

Garcia-Tobar noted that these high failure rates show that email authentication still has a long way to go before it is successful: “These results illustrate the difficulty in implementing email authentication correctly. Though the DMARC, SPF, and DKIM standards that enable email authentication are highly effective when done right, they're poorly understood, counter intuitive, and syntactically exacting. That leaves industry with the very high failure rate measured in our research.” 

Image Credit: Evannovostro / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.