Entrust Datacard Issues First Verified Mark Certificates to Improve Email Authentication and Brand Assurance

man on mobile phone with email icons

MINNEAPOLIS — September 4, 2019 - Entrust Datacard, a leading provider of trusted identity and secure issuance technology solutions, today announces its contribution to the first issuance of a new Verified Mark Certificate (VMC).

Developed in collaboration with the Authindicators Working Group, the new vendor-neutral VMC solution allows enterprises additional branding opportunities to communicate a trademarked brand logo to compatible email clients for display on customer emails.

Email is a critical form of communication between enterprises and their customers. For the typical consumer, it can be challenging to recognize important messages from, for example, their bank or financial institution, that are mixed with a flood of marketing pitches, newsletters, spam, personal emails, phishing scams and outright fraud.

Entrust Datacard is the first certification authority (CA) to issue a VMC. Using VMCs, organizations can provide customers the company’s logo mark in a secure position in the accessed email message. Sending verified emails will provide increased brand control and logo visibility for organizations that support VMCs.

“Our VMC solution allows organizations to take control of their brands and introduce a higher level of customer experience by inserting their familiar logos into emails in a standardized way,” said Chris Bailey, vice president of strategy and operations at Entrust Datacard.

“Email is the dominant form of customer communication, yet customer phishing and spoofing attempts are at an all-time high,” said Armen Najarian, CMO of email security company Agari, an Authindicators Working Group member. “Pairing Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) and VMCs is a winning combination for organizations to deliver improved customer interactions through the inbox. Agari is proud to have worked with Entrust to issue the first VMC.”

How Verified Mark Certificates Work

VMCs build upon the secure verification techniques of Extended Validation (EV) web server certificates, which are governed by the CA/Browser Forum. The issuing Certificate Authority verifies an organization’s registered trademarks and confirms their registration and ownership. The CA adds the confirmed information to the VMC, and then records it in the Certificate Transparency (CT) logs for public disclosure.

The VMC is signed cryptographically with a trusted root, so that mail applications can rely on the information inside the certificate. Once this process is complete, the CA sends the VMC to the organization for its use.

The VMC works alongside an organization’s Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) protocol and Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standards. Adding BIMI instructions to the DNS record allows an organization’s logo to be displayed on email communications that originate from that domain. DMARC provides strong authentication and guidance for preventing spoofed messages.

Entrust Datacard’s VMC issuance is piloting the next phase in the development of BIMI standards, a broad industry effort to enable email inboxes to display logos beside authenticated email, securely and at scale. To learn more about BIMI standards, visit https://bimigroup.org/.

Companies interested in obtaining a VMC can contact Entrust Datacard to determine eligibility at [email protected].

About Agari

Agari is transforming the legacy Secure Email Gateway with its next-generation Secure Email Cloud powered by predictive AI. Leveraging data science and real-time intelligence from trillions of emails, the Agari Identity Graph™ detects, defends and deters costly advanced email attacks including business email compromise, spear phishing and account takeover. Winner of the 2018 Best Email Security Solution by SC Magazine, Agari restores trust to the inbox for government agencies, businesses and consumers worldwide. Learn more at www.agari.com.

About Entrust Datacard Corporation

Consumers, citizens and employees increasingly expect anywhere-anytime experiences — whether they are making purchases, crossing borders, accessing e-gov services or logging onto corporate networks. Celebrating 50 years in 2019, Entrust Datacard offers the trusted identity and secure transaction technologies that make those experiences reliable and secure. Solutions range from the physical world of financial cards, passports and ID cards to the digital realm of authentication, certificates and secure communications. With more than 2,200 Entrust Datacard colleagues around the world, and a network of strong global partners, the company serves customers in 150 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.entrustdatacard.com.