The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) announced today the results of its 2014 Online Trust Audit. Out of nearly 800 top consumer websites evaluated, 30.2 percent made the Honor Roll, distinguishing themselves by safeguarding data via best practices in three categories: domain/brand protection, privacy and security.
Conversely, a disappointing 69.8 percent didn’t qualify for the Honor Roll with 52.7 percent failing in at least one of the three categories.
This comprehensive audit underscores the importance of continued monitoring of security and privacy practices and the risks of becoming complacent. As cybercrime escalates, yesterday’s practices may no longer be applicable or meet today’s regulatory or threat landscape.
Social networking market leader Twitter topped the Honor Roll for the second consecutive year with the highest overall trustworthiness score. Of all sectors analyzed, the “Social 50″—comprised of social networking, gaming and dating websites—outpaced all others in terms of average score and percentage of companies on the Honor Roll (50 percent).
“Twitter is honored to again receive the top overall award for the highest score on the OTA Honor Roll. It has become increasingly clear over the past year that companies need to be even more vigilant in applying security and encryption technologies like always-on-SSL, forward secrecy, and DMARC in order to protect their users, and we’re glad to partner with organizations like the OTA to raise the security and privacy bar,” said Bob Lord, Director of Information Security at Twitter.
American Greetings scored best among the Internet Retailer 500, a strong testimony of its management’s commitment to collaboration and data sharing. The 2014 top 10 most trustworthy online retailers (11 due to a tie) are:
1. American Greetings
3. Christian Book Distributors
4. Sony Electronics
6. Big Fish
10. Zulily (Tied).
The 30.2 percent success rate among all evaluated websites constitutes a drop-off from 32.2 percent in 2013. This decline is attributed in part due to more stringent security standards, as well as the addition of a new category—the top 50 news and media sites. The online media sector fared poorly in its debut, with only a 4 percent success rate and a 62 percent fail rate. Discounting the news sector, the overall percentage of Honor Roll members across all sectors remained on par with 2013 (32.1 percent).