Email authentication use increasing

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Email authentication is on the rise, but many big companies are still the focus of phishing attacks, new research has found.

According to a study by email security company IronPort Systems released at the Email Authentication Summit in Chicago, 35 percent of all email is now authenticated using Sender ID Framework (SIDF). Nine percent of all email used the rival DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) authentication standard, according to the survey.

Patrick Peterson, chief technology officer at IronPort said that email authentication has now achieved "critical mass."

"Email authentication is a 'chicken or egg problem,' with senders dependent on receivers and receivers on senders to get value from email authentication. This study proves we have achieved critical mass and the benefits are accruing today," he said. "We are thrilled with the results of the study that show the addition of reputation will help rebuild trust in the internet experience."

The study did not detect any spam sent using DKIM. Based on the results of the study, the company anticipates at least 50-percent growth in email using the technology over the next 12 months. In late 2007, market adoption should level off at approximately 50 percent, with adoption by most major enterprise and marketing senders in U.S. and Western Europe.

Beyond this point adoption will slow as smaller domains and worldwide adoption continues at a ten-percent rate.

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