Apple released iOS 16 earlier today and among the wealth of features, iOS 16 brings support of Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) — a vendor-neutral standards body and global effort created to enhance security and user experience in the email ecosystem — spearheaded by major ISPs and Valimail.
Apple has included BIMI in its iOS 16 and macOS Ventura, and the company’s estimated 850 million email users — 58.4% of desktop client market share — will benefit from stronger brand protection and amplification.
Developed by the AuthIndicators Working Group, BIMI enables brands to deliver validated logos alongside validated email messages to billions of inboxes worldwide, increasing customer engagement with those messages and boosts brand trust.
Email veteran Josh Aberant and Alexander García-Tobar, CEO of Valimail, co-founded the AuthIndicators Working Group in 2015. Valimail remains a committed leader of the group, working to strengthen email authentication and brand trust for the entire ecosystem, not just its own customers.
Apple’s implementation, like Google’s and Fastmail’s, requires a Verified Mark Certificate (VMC), to ensure that the displayed logo is legitimate and belongs to the brand sending the email. Brands can now ensure their logos are accurately displayed in all corporate email while also reducing the risk of logo abuse or fraud by bad actors.
With BIMI, brands can control and manage their logos when sending emails to their employees, partners, and customers.
“I applaud Apple for adopting the BIMI standard with VMC, which shows the company’s continued commitment to security and excellent user experiences,” said Seth Blank, CTO at Valimail and Chair of the AuthIndicators (BIMI) Working Group.
To take advantage of BIMI, companies must be using strong authentication, which requires proper implementation of Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) at enforcement.
DMARC ensures proper validation of sender identity. With 89% of phishing attacks beginning with sender identity fraud, DMARC offers a critical safeguard against cyber criminals from sending fraudulent mail.
Valimail understands the challenges inherent in properly authenticating email. According to the company’s research, while DMARC adoption has increased in the past 5 years, fewer than 10.8% of DMARC implementations ever successfully reach enforcement. Businesses and organizations using DMARC enhance their security and reduce business risk.
“Apple’s support for BIMI is critical for the growth of the ecosystem. With their participation, hundreds of millions of more inboxes will reap the benefits of enhanced security and a better customer experience which the BIMI standard provides,” Blank noted.
With Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, and now Apple implementing BIMI, the email ecosystem is receiving yet another boost to its coverage and logo display functionality.
Apple’s support will increase the incentive for other mailbox providers — including Microsoft Outlook, Tencent and Netease — to also implement BIMI.