Agari, provider of real-time, data-driven security solutions for advanced email cyber threats, released its 2014 Q2 edition of the Email TrustIndex revealing the most email-secure industries. 

Covering the period from April through June 2014, the Q2 Email TrustIndex provides email “threat” ratings, based on the volume of cyber threats targeted to any given company’s consumers via email, and email trust ratings, which rate how well companies protect consumers from email cyber threats.

To compile the index, Agari analyzes 6.5 billion emails per day across 11 industries to identify which companies are being targeted and which are taking action to prevent attacks from impacting consumers.

In Q2, the travel sector’s threat volume increased by 800 percent and indicating it was a major target for hackers, according to the index. Mega banks had the highest ThreatScore, with consumers 15 times more likely to receive a malicious email pretending to be from a major bank than from an airline.

Meanwhile, health care tracked the lowest TrustCore across all industries, with 13 out of the 14 health care companies analyzed classified as “easy targets” for cybercriminals.

“Quarter after quarter we are witnessing industries struggle with email security,” stated Patrick Peterson, founder and CEO of Agari. “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?’”

The index found a wide disparity between the best and worst-performing industries surveyed and overall, three-quarters have yet to completely implement DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance), an open standard enabled on 70 percent of the world’s inbox, which enables Internet-scale email protection and prevents fraudulent brand abuse for email-borne cyber attacks. At 64 percent, social companies’ DMARC implementation rate is five times that of airlines.

“We issue these quarterly reports to encourage people to take email security more seriously,” Peterson stated. “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.”

Agari also noted a rise in the number and threat-level of malicious email attacks from the security incidents making headlines, including Cryptolocker, GameOver Zeus and the hacking of 1 billion passwords by a Russian gang.

Additional key findings for Q2 included that large banks were the least trustworthy financial institution, with every large bank evaluated classified as an “easy target.” E-tailers are doing well with email security, with online-only companies Netflix and Newegg leading the pack, while the majority of retailers are lagging in implementing best practices.

According to Agari, social media sites are “security rockstars,” with Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter earning near-perfect TrustScores.

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

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