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Agari Q1 Trustindex Reveals Health Care, Retail and Banks Lag behind Etailers and Social Media in Consumer Protection in Wake of Malware Onslaught

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

The 2014 Q1 TrustIndex covers the period from January through March 2014 and identifies the sectors and companies that have the highest and lowest risk for dangerous emails, and the sectors and companies that are taking action to stop cybercriminals from reaching consumers.

“In Q1, criminals amplified their use of email to spread data-theft malware with a specific focus on massive blitzkrieg attacks. Q1 illustrated yet again that organizations who secure their email channel not only have more consumer trust, but also fewer fraud losses, less operational overhead and stay out of headline news stories about security breaches,” said Patrick Peterson, Founder and CEO of Agari. “Despite a widening array of incidents where brands who are suffering criminal abuse trick consumers into taking action that leads to malware infection, major industry sectors fail to prevent cyberattacks with the DMARC standard. The massive volume spikes in blitzkrieg-style email attacks necessitate a proactive, preventive solution.”

Phishing is undergoing a rapid and dramatic evolution

In Q1 2014, Agari saw a dramatic evolution in phishing, with CryptoLocker “ransomware” and GameOver Zeus data-theft malware driving large attacks. CryptoLocker encrypts the user’s hard drive until a $400 Bitcoin ransom payment is made, and GameOver Zeus is the latest data-theft malware. These attacks abuse a growing number of domains, with attacks typically spiking from thousands of malicious emails per day to millions as the criminals attempt to let loose the malware barrage before the security industry can respond. Unfortunately, too many companies fail to join their peers in taking advantage of the DMARC standard.

Notable highlights from the Agari TrustIndex Report:

  • Health Care continues to be the worst performer across all measures of the study and most susceptible to email attacks and cyber-fraud. Health care records are five times more vulnerable than credit card data, categorizing all but one health care company as Easy Targets.
  • Financial Services was broken down into Payments, Mega Banks, Large Banks and Retail Banks (Europe) in Q1.
    • Retail Banks: in Q1 the ThreatScore for the largest retail banks jumped 500%, primarily the result of two months of heavy spamming connected with two banks. This shows that criminals are constantly shifting their targets and the attack landscape is volatile.
  • Social Media has been a consistent winner in security, with sites such as Facebook and Twitter achieving a perfect TrustScore of 100. These two companies were among the seven companies, out of 133 who achieved a perfect TrustScore.
  • Retailers v. Etailers
    • Retailers are still one of the main targets of email attacks, yet the sector’s ThreatScore decreased by nearly 53% from Q4 to Q1, indicating that fraudsters are aiming for higher profile attacks.
    • Etailers remain leaders in email security, with companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Groupon maintaining perfect, or near-perfect, TrustScores. Retailers have a long way to go to catch up to the security practices of Etailers.

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 Q1 TrustIndex includes the following industry sectors:

Financial Services

  E-Commerce   Other
  • Payments
  • Mega Banks
  • Large Banks
  • Retail Banks - Europe
  • Etailers
  • Retailers
  • Logistics
  • Airlines
  • Travel
  • Social Media
  • Health Care

*In this study, Mega Banks are retail banks with more than $5B in annual revenue; Large Banks have more than $2B in annual revenue.

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


About Agari

Agari collects terabytes of email data from email receivers like Gmail and Yahoo! representing 85% of the email inboxes in the U.S., to provide global brands with a cloud-based SaaS solution that eliminates email threats, protects customers and their personal data, and proactively guards brand reputation. Today, Agari has analyzed over a trillion emails, and has blocked over a 2.5 billion malicious messages at a clip of over 200 per second. 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, is headquartered in Silicon Valley. Learn more at http://www.agari.com.

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