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Adoption of email and domain authentication – Sender ID (SIDF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) – has reached its tipping point, exceeding 50% in several key metrics, according to the Authentication and Online Trust Alliance (AOTA).

AOTA’s research highlights the top Fortune 500 and internet retailers that have adopted those leading standards* in an effort to protect consumers and their own brands from forged email and phishing ploys.

The five-month review of over 100 million emails from Fortune 500 brands found the following:

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  • 55% of legitimate email sent worldwide is authenticated.
  • Adoption of SIDF and DKIM has exceeded 50% in the following sectors:
    • 51% of the Fortune 500’s consumer-facing brands
    • 52% of the Fortune 500’s consumer-facing financial service brands
    • 54% of the Internet Retailer top 300 brands
  • Over 1,300 FDIC member banks have adopted authentication.
  • Over 100 marketing and technology vendors support DKIM or SIDF.

“Email Authentication has now surpassed the tipping point, and we are encouraged with improvements in all key areas of measurement,” said Craig Spiezle, chairman of AOTA and director of internet security & privacy at Microsoft Corporation.

*SIDF is a merger of Microsoft Caller ID for email and Sender Permitted From (SPF); DomainKeys Identified Email (DKIM) is a merger of Yahoo DomainKeys and Cisco’s Identified Internet Mail protocols.

About the report: Epsilon, Habeas, Goodmail Systems, JupiterResearch, Lyris, Microsoft, MX Logic and Return Path contributed to and supported the preparation of the authentication report, “2008 State of Email Authentication and the Internet Trust Ecosystem,” AOTA said.

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