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.

“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.”

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 Bankswere 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.

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