With the ongoing surge in phishing attacks, email and domain spoofing attacks, BEC, and other fraudulent activities by cybercriminals, an extra layer of security and email protection is always a good idea! Recipients of emails are growing more and more suspicious of the messages landing in their inboxes due to the rise in cyber attacks. The solution? A well-rounded email security suite that includes BIMI implementation.
A recent survey conducted by security professionals in the US disclosed that 60% of US citizens claim to have fallen prey to a cyber scam or know of someone who has been affected by the same, in their close circle, post-pandemic. Therefore, in order to provide their emails with an additional layer of protection, businesses need to implement a new standard like Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI), as it promises to take consumer confidence to the next level.
What is BIMI?
BIMI stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification, which is a newly formed standard of email authentication that affixes your brand’s logo to all emails authorized by you. This may feel like a very small step, but visual verification can in fact increase your brand’s credibility by allowing receivers to recognize and trust the emails you send out from your business email domain.
You might be wondering, if you already have DMARC implemented in your organization, that makes use of SPF and DKIM authentication standards, do you even need BIMI? Let us discuss in brief how each of these standards functions to authenticate inbound emails:
- SPF authenticates your emails to identify the mail servers that are allowed to send emails from your email domain, enlisted in the SPF record.
- DKIM authenticates emails by adding a digital signature to them, allowing the receiver to check whether an email claiming to be coming from a specific domain was indeed authorized by the owner of that domain.
- DMARC specifies to inbox providers how to respond to emails that fail SPF and DKIM email authentication.
- BIMI affixes your brand’s logo to the emails you send out to your employees, partners, and customers so that they can promptly identify that it is from an authorized source.
Therefore it is quite evident from the discussion above that among all the email authentication protocols, BIMI is the only standard that provides a scope for visual identification, offering email receivers a visual clue to identify the email source and recognize its authenticity.
BIMI Implementation- A Brief Guide
While BIMI is an emerging and still evolving authentication standard, it is still relatively new. As of yet, only Yahoo! Mail has officially adopted the technology. Due to this reason, BIMI does not guarantee the display of your brand logo as it works with only supported email clients. There are a few essential steps to follow, prior to BIMI implementation, which are:
- In order to implement BIMI at your organization, your domain requires to be DMARC- authenticated at a policy level of enforcement, i.e. either reject or quarantine.
- You must create and upload an SVG file of your brand’s logo as per the BIMI requirements to a server so that it is accessible from anywhere.
- You have to create a BIMI record, which, similar to a DMARC record is essentially a string that consists of multiple tags, separated by semicolons.
- You need to have access to your domain’s DNS to publish this new BIMI record.
- It is a rather useful practice to check the validity of your BIMI record after it is published in your DNS.
How can BIMI implementation prove to be advantageous for your business?
BIMI is an email authentication protocol that exercises visual identification to help email receivers recognize and trust your brand in the inbox. This trust prevents customers and partners from unsubscribing your services and keeps spam complaints at bay as well, which can subsequently lead to a boost in email deliverability.
Without BIMI, a generic placeholder logo with brand initials is displayed by email clients. Due to this reason, the recipient might have a hard time recognizing your brand without resorting to the brand name. However, with BIMI implemented, the brand logo is displayed next to your email message, boosting brand awareness.
In addition to that, it is an extra layer of email security against domain spoofing attacks, phishing attacks, and other attempts at impersonation as receivers would be more wary about cybercriminals posing to be you.
Furthermore, BIMI allows you to market your brand. Yes, you heard me right! Sometimes recipients do not have a lot of time in hand, and your subject line might not be compelling enough to click on at the moment. Regardless of that, your recipients will connect your sender address, subject line, and preheader text with your logo, helping further build your brand.
Lastly, BIMI implementation also has a very positive impact on your email deliverability rate! For mailbox providers who do support BIMI, it will add another layer of email authentication to your messages, thereby increasing the chance of them delivering your email more promptly. In addition to that, your email receivers can visually identify and recognize your brand, through the displayed logo, decreasing the chances of them marking it as spam.
Ease up Your BIMI Implementation Process with PowerBIMI
With PowerBIMI we make BIMI record publishing very speedy and simple for you! All you have to do is simply upload your SVG image, we will host it securely and provide you with a DNS record instantly, so that you can publish it in your DNS. We take off from your shoulder the pain of hosting the image and securing it.
With PowerBIMI you can update, delete or do any changes to your image, at any time, without the need for updating your DNS records again. PowerBIMI provides you with a very speedy and easy one-click implementation procedure to upload your logo and shift to BIMI authentication successfully, adding it as a part of your email security suite after signing up for free BIMI record.