Google joins BIMI initiative to combat email fraud

Google joins a growing list of email technology companies working on Brand Indicators for Messaging Identification.

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Fraudulent emails account for a growing number of cybercrimes each year, and email technology companies are joining together to fight the unwavering risk to their customers. Next year, Google will join the growing Brand Indicators for Messaging Identification (BIMI) initiative, an industry-wide effort to combat email security issues by enabling email inboxes to display sender-designated logos for authenticated messages.

Why we should care

For marketers, in particular, email is all about trust. BIMI provides a standard for a more secure global framework that will enable inboxes to display sender-designated logos.

Marketers will be able to ensure that our subscribers know that an email is coming from our brand. The multi-step verification process will help end-users recognize emails from verified brands — and well as identify phishing attempts from bad actors.

BIMI relies on authentication processes to verify senders. A brand’s email must be authenticated through the Domain-based Message Authentication, Receiving and Conformance (DMARC) standard. The logo, which will display next to the sender name in user’s managed inbox, will also need to be authenticated by a third-party that will issue a new type of certificate called a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC). 

Verizon Media began a trial of BIMI across web and mobile Yahoo Mail properties last year.

“We saw two immediate benefits as the result of our BIMI beta in Yahoo Mail,” said Marcel Becker, director of product management for Verizon Media. “We were able to provide better and more accurate brand logos as part of our consumer mail experience and BIMI clearly provided an incentive to accelerate the adoption of DMARC among those brands. Expanding the adoption of BIMI beyond that beta will be a clear win for senders and consumers.”

With accessibility coming in the near future, marketers need to prepare for the inevitable changes coming to how we reach the managed inbox.

More on the news

  • The initiative is being driven by a vendor-agnostic committee, The AuthIndicators Working Group, with the goal of creating a more secure, trustworthy inbox experience for email users.
  • Members include Agari, Comcast, Google, LinkedIn, RetunPath from Validity, Valimail and Verizon Media.
  • Entrust Datacard and DigiCert will act as third-party logo validators. Trial VMC certificates will be available later this year.

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About the author

Jennifer Cannon
Jennifer Videtta Cannon is a markerting specialist at ShotFlow. She previously was a Senior Editor at MarTech. Jennifer has more than a decade of organizational digital marketing experience. She has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.

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