“DMARC has proven to be an effective solution to secure our federal domains, but more work is needed to protect all federal domains. The time to act is now –deadlines to comply with BOD 18-01 are imminent,” said Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, Department of Homeland Security. “Cybersecurity is a critical component of our homeland security policy, but it is also a shared responsibility. It is crucial for U.S. citizens to trust that an email from a government agency is legitimate.”
Agari, a leading cybersecurity company, today announced the publication of a new research report, “U.S. Federal Government DMARC Adoption,” which reveals that federal domain adoption of DMARC increased 38 percent (13 percentage points) in 30 days, from 34 percent on November 18, 2017 to 47 percent on December 18, 2017. This increase of 151 domains shows rapid adoption of DMARC, a critical email authentication standard, ahead of the initial, January 15, 2018, deadline for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Binding Operational Directive (BOD) 18-01. Agari will present this research at a Federal Breakfast Workshop on January 18, 2018, where DHS Assistant Secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications Jeanette Manfra will provide keynote remarks.
Agari research also shows the effectiveness of the DMARC security control across federal agencies. Of the billions of emails sent across the more than 400 federal government domains secured by Agari, ninety-six percent of the emails are protected by the strongest DMARC policy (p=reject) nearly a year ahead of the BOD 18-01. As a result, those federal domains protected by DMARC at p=reject, including the U.S. Senate, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Post Office have seen attempted fraud send rates decrease to less than two percent in December.
“This research shows that DMARC does more than protect federal domains, it protects all of us – even our mothers and fathers – from billions of phishing emails every day,” said Patrick Peterson, Founder and Executive Chairman, Agari. “The increase in adoption is a smashing early success. We hope that all agencies with follow Agari’s federal agency clients, including the U.S. Senate, Health and Human Services, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Census Bureau, Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Postal Service, to comply with the directive and help eliminate phishing and spam related to domain spoofing and ensure a trusted digital channel for US citizens.”
DHS announced BOD 18-01 on October 16, 2017, during a Global Cybersecurity Alliance (GCA) event in New York City. BOD 18-01 mandates that all federal domains implement DMARC, TLS and HTTPS to prevent domain name spoofing and to secure email communication. Federal departments and agencies have 90 days to implement DMARC at its lowest setting (monitoring, P=none) and one year to implement DMARC at its highest setting (P=reject), which prevents unauthorized mail from being sent.
Since the DHS announcement, DMARC adoption rates among federal domains have improved across the board. Thirty-one percent have deployed DMARC as p=none, compared to 20 percent on November 18, and 16 percent have deployed DMARC to quarantine or reject unauthenticated email, compared to 14 percent on November 18. Still, 53 percent still have not deployed DMARC, just weeks ahead of the DHS deadline.
More than 20 federal agencies have achieved 100 percent DMARC adoption across their domains, including the Federal Communication Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Service is the only federal agency to have deployed DMARC across more than 100 domains.