IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
Story image
DigiCert brings Verified Mark Certificates to Kiwi companies
Thu, 30th Mar 2023

DigiCert has announced that it is now issuing Verified Mark Certificates (VMCs) for trademarks registered in New Zealand, compliant with the Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standard of the AuthIndicators Working Group, which includes Google.

Trademarks registered with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand are now accepted without the need of being registered in Australia or other jurisdictions, allowing easier brand display within popular email platforms, the compay states.

Before now, Gmail and the AuthIndicators Working Group recognised about a dozen intellectual property trademark offices globally for VMCs, of which three were in the APAC region. With the addition of the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand, more organisations in New Zealand will be able to deploy VMCs from DigiCert to display their logos in the email inbox.

According to DigiCert, this may increase recognition, open and engagement rates, and brand impressions, while bringing greater trust and transparency to email via Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance (DMARC).

Dean Coclin, Senior Director of Business Development at DigiCert, says, "We are happy to work alongside great industry leaders like Gmail and the AuthIndicators Working Group to issue VMCs with trademarks registered with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand.

"VMCs provide potential for a big boost in global brand visibility and engagement rates for New Zealand-based companies, as well as an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to email security with adoption of DMARC enforcement.The expansion of BIMI in New Zealand aims to drive adoption of strong sender authentication for the entire email ecosystem."

Verified Mark Certificates (VMCs) enable companies to add their trademarked corporate logos to emails they send to their customers to increase recognition, engagement rates and brand impressions, while preventing phishing and bringing greater trust and transparency to email, the company states.

"Its a similar concept to a verified badge on Instagram. VMCs help end-users recognise a brand, and act as a layer of protection against spoofing through DMARC compliance," says Dean Coclin, Senior Director of Business Development at DigiCert.

Key reasons why VMCs can boost a brands email marketing strategy, according to DigiCert:

  • VMCs increase open and engagement rates by up to 10% by displaying the brand more prominently and reducing the probability of emails going to the spam folder.
  • VMCs provide marketers an alternative and affordable way to increase brand impressions and ROI.
  • Additionally, since VMCs are only issued for a company enforcing DMARC, the presence of a VMC may signal higher security in that DMARC is protecting end users against fraudulent emails, spoofing and phishing attacks.

VMCs are available as part of the Brand Indicator Message Identification (BIMI) standard, which seeks to increase adoption of DMARC as a key email security mechanism.

By utilising VMCs secured by DMARC, organisations demonstrate their commitment to email security and protection of customer privacy. DMARC compliance provides robust security against spoofing and phishing attacks, helping organisations better secure their emails to protect users and brands from costly abuse. Email clients leverage DMARC, an allow list for email sending domains, to verify that email comes from the domain specified.

Neil Kumaran, Group Product Manager, Gmail Security & Trust at Google, says, "BIMI provides email recipients and email security systems increased confidence in the source of emails, and enables senders to provide their audience with a more immersive experience.

"Gmail is proud to be one of the leading members in both establishing and supporting the BIMI standard and will continue to support efforts that contribute to security for the entire email ecosystem."

As an authorised provider of VMCs, DigiCert provides capabilities with a global customer support team and New Zealand based partners to ensure timely validation and issuance of VMCs. DigiCert also provides education and assistance, in conjunction with its partner Valimail, for companies looking to streamline DMARC setup to comply with the guidelines for VMCs.