Email security was the topic of discussion at another Open-Xchange sponsored event held last Thursday in the fantastic setting of Old Trafford Stadium, the home of Manchester United. BT, TalkTalk and Plusnet, three of the largest ISPs in the UK, had delegates in attendance along with email security vendors Halon and Cloudmark. This intimate group discussed the challenges facing email security as it stands today and how they could collaborate going forward to improve the state of affairs.
The use of standard technologies like SPF, DKIM and DMARC to identify message origins, so their users can have more trust in whom they are receiving mails from, was debated. The discussion also encompassed encrypting emails sent between UK ISPs using robust cyphers, similarly to what German ISPs already do, and how to use DNSSEC and DANE to verify who you are delivering email to, to avoid “man in the middle” attacks. The discussions were at times technical but a good representation from the ISPs Product Management teams led to real thought being given to how to deliver secure solutions to consumers without confusing them on the technical details.
After three hours of discussion, the group were given an escorted behind doors tour of the 78,000 seater stadium known as the “Theatre of Dreams”. This involved dressing room and dug out access, plus anecdotes of the activities that go on away from the glare of the public and TV cameras. Dinner was served in one of the suites overlooking the pitch, and informal discussions continued over dinner for several hours before the majority of the attendees moved to a nearby hotel bar for some more drinks before retiring for the evening.
The agreement from all those attending was to take away the ideas presented and discuss them internally within their organisations. There was real interest from all to attend the much large and more broadly focussed Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG) in Lisbon in June and Open-Xchange agreed to assist those willing to attend with passes. There was also a desire to re-convene in the UK at the end of the year to report back on internal progress on the email security ideas presented and to discuss how national collaboration may continue.
It was a superb event in an excellent venue that managed to generate a real collaborative discussion on email security, while also offering a social side that really will stick in the minds for years to come for those that attended (even for the Liverpool and Arsenal fans who were there).
Have a look at the full photostream for this event »