Google, PayPal, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft, alongside 10 other leading email, security and financial providers, have formed the technical working group, DMARC, in order to reduce email phishing and spam.

The DMARC, Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance, will create internet standards to improve email senders’ authentication practices.

“Email has changed the way the world communicates. But many of the attributes that have made it great – it’s openness, it’s interoperability – have also made it vulnerable to malicious activity. The beauty of DMARC is that it attempts to address the security threats to the email ecosystem without impacting its utility as a communication channel,” said Matt Blumberg, CEO of Return Path, a leading email certification company. “Fast, widespread adoption of DMARC will make a significant dent in scammers ability to perpetuate crime through email.”

According to a report from the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), more than 300 brands are hijacked by phishers every month.

“Email phishing defrauds millions of people and companies every year, resulting in a loss of consumer confidence in email and the Internet as a whole,” said Brett McDowell, Chair of and Senior Manager of Customer Security Initiatives at PayPal. “Industry cooperation – combined with technology and consumer education – is crucial to fight phishing.”

DMARC is encouraging all Internet Server Providers (ISPs) to adopt these standards in order to clean up our inboxes. This will be good news to those using email in their integrated campaigns. With less spam and fears of phishing, customers should gain more trust in the emails they recieve.

Over the next 18 months, DMARC standards will be tested and further developed. For organizations interested in improving email authentication, there is still an opportunity to be a part of the conversation at