Gmail Confirms the Authenticity of Emails with BIMI
Briefly stated, the email will remain a dominant mode of communication for a long time to come, with companies trying to improve email security. According to ITPro, 80% of companies still use email to communicate, and we’ve seen several email-focused companies raise massive funding rounds over the past six months, including Exclaimer and SparkPost. Approximately 3 billion domain-spoofing emails are sent daily – emails from fake senders appearing to come from legitimate sources like banks.
Almost one year after announcing plans for a BIMI pilot project, Google officially supported the email authentication standard BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification). Verizon’s email clients, such as Yahoo and AOL, had been the only ones to adopt BIMI up to now fully. Fastmail’s BIMI program is also currently being piloted. In addition, BIMI now supports Gmail’s users globally since it is one of the most popular email providers in the world. BIMI’s added security is complemented by maintaining a consistent brand image across online channels, making it appealing to both marketers and security professionals. A wide range of partners, including Bank of America, are joining BIMI as the project enters its growth phase.
A verified brand can choose to place their corporate logo prominently on their email avatar across email clients and services with the BIMI. BIMI is an emerging industry initiative backed by prominent players, including Verizon Media and Google, that needs to be embraced by email service providers to succeed.
Businesses shall only use BIMI if they have adopted Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC), an email authentication protocol designed to protect domain owners from email spoofing. Verified Mark Certificates (VMCs) are issued for trademarked logos by DigiCert and Entrust to prove that the logo and its trademark have been authenticated. The Gmail team will then perform the company’s usual “anti-abuse checks” and display its new avatar image in the avatar slot once all of the steps have been completed.
During a trial with Yahoo users in 2018, Verizon discovered that adding verified logos to emails drove up customer engagement by 10%. Customers clicked on emails with the logos more frequently, resulting in additional traffic to the companies that tested the technology. According to a blog posted by Google, “BIMI increases the trustworthiness of the email source and gives recipients and security systems a more immersive experience.” We are only at the beginning of BIMI’s journey. It will revolutionize email security in the coming years.