Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Authentication and Accreditation: State of the Industry

Authentication and Accreditation: State of the Industry

ESPC: Authenticate Now!

The Email Service Provider Coalition (ESPC), a group of companies that handle email transmission for over 250,000 email sending corporations and businesses around the world, is calling for increased authentication adoption. ESPC requires all members to authenticate outgoing client email. It also wants receiving ISPs to take harsher measures against those who don't authenticate, or who fail authentication checks due to a badly configured record or spoofing attempts.

MSN Recognizes Habeas

Habeas, an email accreditation company, announced its accreditation program, and the Habeas SafeList is now recognized by Microsoft. Using Habeas almost as an outsourced whitelist, Microsoft will be able to better target its spam filters to email not signed with the Habeas certification mark.

For the last 18 months, Microsoft has deployed Bonded Sender's whitelist in a similar capacity. It will use Habeas' SafeList in addition to Bonded Sender for both Hotmail and MSN. It's likely email marketers must only adopt one of these accreditation services for improved Hotmail and MSN delivery.

Recognition of email accreditation programs by a large consumer ISP can drive other ISPs to do the same, snowballing adoption. It isn't hard to imagine Yahoo or AOL outsourcing its whitelisting program to a provider with a more structured, standardized process.


E-mail is changing, as these developments demonstrate. ISPs and email senders alike are clamoring for an authenticated email system that relies on a certification standard. Spammers will find it more difficult to operate in such a system and be driven deeper underground, while legitimate email will remain on top.

If delivery rates are important to your company, take a look at the various accreditation companies such as Habeas and Bonded Sender. If you don't yet authenticate your email, either cryptographically or with Sender ID, now's a good time to start. Wait too long, and you'll leave money on the table and play catch-up with your competitors.

No comments: