Vitis Public Relations

Only 30% of top consumer sites rated trustworthy, ImmuniWeb used as part of security assessment

Press release   •   Jun 12, 2014 14:09 BST

OTA 2014 Online Trust Honor Roll Recipient

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, nearly 70 percent didn’t qualify for the Honor Roll with 52.7 percent failing in at least one of the three categories. 

As part of the evaluation process, High-Tech Bridge's website vulnerability assessment service ImmuniWeb® was successfully used for Honor Roll scoring to verify and test SSL certificates and Web Application Firewalls (WAF), and to detect XSS (Cross-Site Scripting) vulnerabilities on several thousands of world-largest and governmental websites.

Ilia Kolochenko, CEO of information security and computer forensics company High-Tech Bridge, says: "The OTA is doing a great job by promoting the culture of privacy, data protection and information security among individuals, multinational companies and governments. The role of OTA in modern society is extremely important, especially today when news about new cyber security incidents dominate media headlines. At High-Tech Bridge we are honored to be in the OTA Honor Roll for the third consecutive year. We are also happy that ImmuniWeb®, our on-demand web security assessment SaaS, was leveraged by OTA to perform various web security testing for the Honor Roll".

Top Performers
Twitter topped the Honor Roll for the second consecutive year with the highest overall trustworthiness score. Of all sectors analysed, 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).

The 2014 top 10 most trustworthy online retailers (11 due to a tie) are:

  1. American Greetings
  2. Netflix 
  3. Christian Book Distributors
  4. Sony Electronics
  6. Big Fish 
  7. Walmart
  8. Newegg
  9. Books-A-Million
  10. JackThreads & Zulily
"Being named to the Honor Roll is a significant achievement and speaks to High-Tech Bridge’s committed to best practices and most importantly commitment to improve Internet security" said Craig Spiezle Executive Director and President Online Trust Alliance. "The leadership and High-Tech Bridge’s assistance in this year’s effort including WAF/XSS/SSL testing, has raised the bar on best practices. Only a 30 percent of the companies made the Honor Roll, underlining High-Tech Bridge’s commitment to these best practices. Placement in the 2014 Honor Roll is a huge achievement when one considers over 57 percent received failing grades in one or more categories. Disappointing these leading brands received failing marks in critical areas including inadequate domain and consumer protection (31%), insecure websites (11%), and inadequate policies for privacy and data collection (28%)."

In 2009, OTA formally launched the Online Trust Honor Roll and Online Trust Audit, which today is a comprehensive evaluation of a site's and mobile application's best practices in brand and consumer protection, security and privacy. Through a composite weighted scoring including over two-dozen data points, sites which achieve a score of 80% or greater are named to the Honor Roll.

The OTA works collaboratively with industry leaders to empower internet users and improve online trust, and completed audits on more than 500 million emails, more than 800 different domains and privacy policies, and over 10,000 web pages associated with the Internet Retailer 500 (IR500), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC 100), and Top 50 Social, News / Media and Federal Government sites. Analysis fell across three main categories: Domain, Brand, and Consumer Protection; Site, Server, and Infrastructure Security, and Data Protection and Privacy.

Overall Honor Roll Achievement by Year 
Overall Honor Roll Achievement by Year

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 remained at par with with 2013 at 32.1 percent.

Percentage Achieving 2014 Honor Roll Status by Sector 
Percentage Achieving 2014 Honor Roll Status by Sector

Overall Honor Roll Achievement by Year 
Email Authentication & DMARC by Sector

Site & Server Security Scores/Adoption by Sector 
Site & Server Security Scores/Adoption by Sector

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, High-Tech Bridge provides customers in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and across the globe with information security services such as penetration testingsecurity auditingcomputer crime investigation and web application security testing.

In 2012, analyst firm Frost & Sullivan recognised High-Tech Bridge as one of the market leading service providers in the ethical hacking industry. High-Tech Bridge also received the prestigious Online Trust Alliance Honor Roll award in 2012, 2013 and 2014.