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U.S.: Agencies Fail Email Cyber Tests
Source: federalnewsradio.com
Source Date: Friday, August 08, 2014
Focus: Information Access, E-Participation
Country: United States
Created: Aug 12, 2014

Federal agencies are not adopting industry best practices for securing their email systems.

Even with the move to the cloud, the Online Trust Alliance, a non-profit organization that focuses on enhancing trust and user empowerment of the Web, found only the House of Representatives and the Senate received passing grades when it comes to email cybersecurity.

OTA looked at the adoption of three critical email authentication standards across the top 50 federal websites, the top 100 FDIC insured banks, the top 500 Internet retailers, the top 50 social media sites and the top 50 news or media sites.

"By implementing email authentication, organizations can help protect their brands and consumers from receiving spoofed and forged email," OTA said in the report. "There has been growth in the deployment of email authentication in all industry sectors, yet major and systemic issues remain. The failure to apply authentication standards comprehensively risks placing consumers and employees in harm's way. This is often the result of companies authenticating only selected sub-domains and failing to authenticate their top level domain which is the domain most often abused. The inconsistent use of authentication is like reinforcing and locking the front door to your house, while leaving your side door or garage doors wide open."

Among the Fed 50, OTA found only 4 percent adopted email authentication best practices, such as Domain Keys Identified Mail and not publishing their Domain- based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance records.

OTA recommended adopting email authentication across all channels and domains. It said implementing inbound email authentication to protect employees and corporate data from spear phishing is important too.
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