BIMI is one step ahead of usual email authentication standards. While it ensures security through email identification, it also enhances brand value by stamping the brand logo on the email. This article will explore BIMI and how it’s built upon DMARC.
Effective email identification and authentication are essential parts of internet security. Organizations worldwide are investing vast resources to ensure that their networks are safe. The various internet protocol mechanisms have undergone a significant transformation, a continuous process.
While conveniences have increased with technological advancements, challenges have become increasingly sophisticated, and building trust has become arduous. Under such circumstances, BIMI emerges as a beacon of hope, giving much respite to sellers and buyers. It is an upcoming standard that allows organizations to enhance their brand value while keeping security tight.
What is BIMI?
BIMI, or ‘Brand Indicator for Message Identification,’ is an email specification that allows any organization to stamp its logo on an email domain and make it appear on all supporting email clients. The logos of senders in their emails have become an essential component of new brand management strategies. It is done correctly and securely only when the logo has been verified under the BIMI specifications and correctly published on DNS TXT records. BIMI goes a long way in establishing trust among clients.
How Does BIMI Work?
BIMI is essentially a text file. The text file will have a specific format and is stored on the server that is meant to send the emails. When the email is sent, the email service of the recipient checks for the BIMI text file. It also checks the location where it is stored. It is required to ensure foolproof verification.
Once the process of confirmation is completed, the text file directs the email service toward the location of the sender’s logo, and the email service, in turn, pulls up the logo. It is only then it appears in the receiver’s mailbox. The process may look simple, but it is far from it. The following things must concurrently occur for the exercise to be successful.
- The email must be authenticated with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.
- For a new BIMI DNS entry, access to the domain name servers is a necessity.
- It is required that the logo is in SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format.
- A Verified Mark Certificate (VMC), which though optional, is highly recommended.
How Is BIMI Built upon DMARC?
BIMI implementation requires SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) to be set up. DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance), foundational to email security, is deployed with a policy to reject or quarantine emails failing authentication. It is done to ensure that senders are responsible and mindful of the type of emails being sent. BIMI takes advantage of the investments organizations make in DMARC.
How is BIMI Implemented?
The following are the major steps of BIMI implementation:
● Step 1
DMARC is to be implemented across all emails. BIMI can only be implemented if the DMARC policy has been enforced. As previously mentioned, DMARC policy needs to either quarantine or reject false emails for the logo to appear in the inbox.
● Step 2
The logos are required to be in SVG format and square in shape. There mustn’t be any additional text in the logo. The logo needs to be stored in HTTPS.
● Step 3
Visual Mark Certificates are not mandatory yet, but in the future, they will be. Hence, it is recommended that a VMC be acquired at the onset.
Advantages of BIMI
The following are the main advantages of the many offered by BIMI to its users.
The primary task of BIMI implementation is to improve email security. The virtual world is rife with impersonation and manipulation, and one of the popular ways to enter networks illegally is through spoofing. Business email compromise (BEC) attacks make up a major portion of the security threats that most organizations face. Through BIMI, it will become harder for impersonators to steal identities. Brands benefit from email security since a trusted entity will have a lesser probability of getting unsubscribed.
Brand value is built on trust; anything harming it must be dealt with instantly. It is the main reason organizations expend extensive resources to protect consumer data. BIMI creates a new layer of security in addition to DMARC. The presence of a logo enhances the communication of the email, while the BIMI text creates a protective wall.
BIMI is advantageous from a brand management perspective. An email entering an inbox with an attached logo enhances its importance automatically. Before BIMI, logos would be vulnerable to spoofing and manipulations. There was also no standardized methodology guiding logos in emails. It led to individual mailbox providers creating their unique display and management systems. When standardization comes into play, the organizations get control of their logos. From a marketer’s point of view, it enhances the brand value of the sender.
With greater visibility comes increased brand value. A standardized logo in the inbox helps emails stand out among thousands of others. It increases consumer engagement. Being a part of the crowd doesn’t lead to increased consumer awareness. A visible brand is successful, and there are no second thoughts about it.
Future of BIMI
BIMI is an upcoming email specification gradually being absorbed by email providers. Not all email providers have accepted the specification yet, though it is assumed that BIMI will soon become indispensable. The primary reason behind BIMI’s success would be its simplified implementation process and added security layer. A standardized methodology to showcase one’s logo is a dream come true from a digital marketing perspective. BIMI would be able to fulfill that comprehensively.
Implementing BIMI will take some time since it is still an upcoming specification. It is necessary for organizations to first implement SPF, DKM, and DMARC records before going ahead with the next steps. They remain the foundation of email security. Respective IT teams may take some time to get used to a new security protocol, but it will not take long before it becomes widespread. Extensive deployment of BIMI is essential for both the brand enhancement and security of the organization. And in a digital and mobile world, it is a vital pillar for success.