A study conducted by cybersecurity and compliance company Proofpoint has revealed that the majority of the top online retailers in the United States are not adequately protecting consumers from potential email fraud and cybercrime. The research found that more than half (52%) of the top 50 online retailers in the US are not actively blocking fraudulent emails from reaching consumers.
With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, experts are anticipating record-breaking sales, estimated to be between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion. However, consumers could be at risk with a recent survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) finding that Americans plan to spend an average of $875 on holiday-related purchases this year.
Proofpoint’s analysis of the top 50 retailers revealed that less than half (48%) have implemented the highest level of protection to reject suspicious emails from reaching consumers’ inboxes, leaving 52% of online retailers vulnerable to email fraud. Additionally, more than one in 10 (12%) have no DMARC record in place at all, and 26% have implemented a monitor policy, while only 14% have implemented a quarantine policy to direct unqualified emails to spam/junk folders.
Robert Holmes, the group vice president and general manager of Proofpoint’s Sender Security and Authentication business, warned consumers to remain vigilant and practice safe online shopping during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping period. He emphasized the importance of verifying the legitimacy of deals, as cybercriminals often take advantage of the surge in email traffic to target shoppers with convincing lures and scams.
Email is a popular marketing tool that cybercriminals leverage to conduct phishing campaigns and steal personal information or credit card details. Proofpoint’s research highlights the importance of DMARC, a widely-used authentication protocol that helps to prevent suspicious emails from reaching consumers’ inboxes. Without this protection, malicious actors can impersonate trusted companies and send fraudulent emails to consumers.
Moreover, Google and Yahoo! have announced that starting in February 2024, email DMARC authentication will be required to send messages from their platforms, particularly affecting accounts that send large volumes of emails per day, such as retailers. Failure to comply with these security requirements will significantly impact the deliverability of legitimate messages to customers with Gmail and Yahoo! accounts.
In light of these findings, Proofpoint has provided several tips for consumers to stay safe during the holiday shopping season, including using multifactor authentication, being cautious of imitation sites, avoiding phishing and smishing threats, refraining from clicking on links, and verifying before making a purchase.
Given the widespread implications of email fraud and cybercrime, it is crucial for online retailers to take appropriate measures to protect consumers. By implementing DMARC and other security protocols, retailers can help safeguard their customers from potential email scams and fraudulent activities.
For more information visit: https://www.proofpoint.com/us/products/email-fraud-defense