The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) has news today, June 5. The OTA conducts an annual audit of a range of businesses, government agencies, and vendors. This audit looks at how each organization deals with the key points of importance to the OTA; domain, brand and consumer protection; site, server, and infrastructure security (including SSL certificate implementation); data protection, privacy, and transparency. They look at over 750 websites, including the 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500, leading financial institutions (certified FDIC), social networking sites, and OTA member companies like Symantec. The public can go to the OTA's website, look at their criteria, and see who the OTA recommends for practicing safe online activity in their Honor Roll.
Inclusion isn't guaranteed, even for partner Certificate Authorities. Symantec Website Security Solutions works with the OTA and its partner group on whitepapers, educational materials, and symposiums. We believe in the importance of having industry leaders get together to determine common grounds of governance, suggested guidelines, and best practices to share with the whole internet ecosystem. The goal of all these efforts is to make the internet a safer place for the consumer to do business, and be protected at work and play. Consumers can use the OTA Honor Roll the same way they review a company's certification by the Better Business Bureau, Angie's List, Consumer Reports, and other independent online reviews to evaluate where to spend their money.
This year, the OTA's criteria expanded to include more details of website security, including the use of 2048-bit certificates, Domain Locking, and the honoring of Do Not Track. Additionally, they have revised the weighting of email authentication to include best practices such as DMARC and DKIM. And because the OTA believes in practicing what they preach, they include their own membership and sponsor list in the audit. Not everyone makes the grade.
Symantec Website Security Solutions shares the goals and principles of the Online Trust Alliance, an organization promoting industry best practices and education to help protect users and increase online trust. We're proud to be named on their Honor Roll a third year in a row. We believe this achievement represents our dedication to best practices. Internet security is a constantly changing field, and new criteria will be added every year. Staying ahead of the curve is important, and we encourage everyone to maintain, monitor, and keep planning for the future with the right investments in security and safety for users.