Google, in their recent security blog has confirmed that they are all set to take their email security to next level by rolling out Gmail’s general support of BIMI, an industry standard that aims to drive adoption of strong sender authentication for the entire email ecosystem.
Almost an year after they first announcing the adoption Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) pilot , this roll out is going to be next big step in email security. BIMI provides email recipients and email security systems increased confidence in the source of emails, and enables senders to provide their audience with a more immersive experience by displaying the Brand logos as an icon next to email senders’ names, on every email they send.
BIMI facilitates advantages to the entire email ecosystem. By requiring strong authentication, both users and email security systems can improve trust in the source of emails, and senders will be able to boost their brand trust and provide an enhanced immersive experience to their customers.
With Google announcing their BIMI support, the community has got even bigger with other industry leading mail service providers like Yahoo(Verizon Media), Fastmail and now Google.
According to the standard to adopt BIMI for a mail domain, it must first be secured by DMARC in Quarantine/Reject policy. This would ensure the logo are not being displayed on any unauthenticated email.
How does DMARC help?
To explain in short, DMARC – developed in 2012, is a protocol that uses both SPF and DKIM authentication to secure email, and additionally has a mechanism that sends the domain owner a report whenever an email fails DMARC validation. This means the domain owner is notified whenever an email sent by an unauthorized third party.
Every new invention brings its new challenges. Every new challenge pushes us to find a new way to overcome it. DMARC has been around for some years now, still phishing has existed for much longer. As new organizations are born each day, email security is important and plays a vital role in every organization and there should be necessary actions taken to make sure there is no security breach. It becomes the responsibility of every business to protect themselves, their clientsb and employeesb sensitive personal information.
At ProDMARC, we’re here to help you meet this new challenge with ease.! ProDMARC as a product built on a mission to achieve a secure and spoofing free email channels across all of internet space; makes reporting of DMARC, providing volumes and trends of the outbound mails including that of phishing campaigns and yield confirmation for reliability of the outbound mails in terms of SPF, DKIM & DMARC conformance; smooth and uncomplicated.
Summarizing, ProDMARC helps improve customer and third party trust in email communications.
Considering the economy being in slump, ProDMARC announces a limited-time offer during the ongoing pandemic – 15 days of DMARC health assessment report, completely free for all organizations who wish to gain visibility of the mail based phishing threats which are at an all-time high.
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Since the early days of the internet, spam has been a persistent and chronic problem. Gary Thuerk of Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) sent the first unsolicited mass e-mailing (later dubbed SPAM) on May 1, 1978, advertising the VAX T-series to 400 of the then 2600 ARPAnet users.
The SMTP email protocol, which we still use today, evolved from these early ARPANET mail protocols (Postel RFC788 and RFC821) in the early 1980s, and has changed very little since then. The SMTP protocol has had little to no security built in since its introduction, and when used to send email, it offers little defense against spoofing of email addresses or servers. However, several new tools have recently been added to the email security arsenal to protect against these threats.
SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are all similar features for detecting spoofed or spam emails, but they vary slightly.
SPF (RFC 7208)
SPF (Sender Policy Framework) specifies a list of servers that are permitted to send email for a particular domain using a DNS entry. Its security is based on the fact that only authorized domain administrators have access to the DNS zone records for the domain.
DKIM (RFC 6376)
DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) differs from SPF in that it verifies that the receiving server is allowed to send mail for the domain and that the quality of the mail has not changed since it was sent. Using DKIM keys stored in DNS and DKIM uses a public/private key signing mechanism.
The following steps are applied to the email process with DKIM:
Sending servers create a signature with their DKIM private key and insert it into the email header (DKIM-Signature).
Email recipients look up the DKIM public key in the sending domain’s DNS TXT record, which is then used to verify the DKIM-Signature attached to the email.
If the email body content is modified, the email signature will no longer match and validation will fail.
This process verifies that the email content has not been tampered with, as well as that the email was sent from a domain-approved server.
DMARC (RFC 7489)
DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) incorporates elements of both SPF and DKIM by stating a simple DMARC policy that can be used in both tools, as well as allowing the domain administrator to set an address that can be used to submit information about forged mail message statistics gathered by receivers against the same domain, for example:
Relative levels of spoofing of your domain(s).
Who is spoofing email purporting to be from your domain?
Does that mean your spam problem is resolved?
In an ideal world, all email servers would use these techniques, and SPAM would be significantly reduced. However, since making a mistake in configuring the necessary DNS TXT records can result in the loss of important emails, some domain owners have been hesitant to implement the methods.
Despite this, major email domain owners such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have implemented these approaches.
SPAM can still be transmitted via compromised accounts and servers, shared hosting email servers, and misconfigured servers, so multilevel email protection is the only way to ensure a clean and safe email feed.
How effective are DMARC, SPF, and DKIM?
These tools will undoubtedly have a significant effect on the fight against SPAM, and the more domains that use them, the better. However, caution should be exercised during DMARC implementation to ensure that all settings are right before going live. SPF, for example, allows you to set the changes in a test mode, which means that recipient domains will not block any mail that fails the test.
ProgIST believes in protecting both your and your clients’ email rights and privacy. ProDMARC helps you implement DMARC authentication to stop fraudsters from misusing your domain. Get Started with top-class cybersecurity solutions for your business at ProgIST.
It is a well-known fact that in most of the cyber-frauds, the cyber criminals impersonate trusted identities, mainly because the chances of the victim falling for such emails are high. These attacks are commonly called as email spoofing.
Let us look at some quick facts about email spoofing attacks:
Over 70% of fraudulent emails are directly sent from a domain name of the victim organisation.
According to a latest email security risk assessment, there is a surge in email spoofing attacks by over 22% as compared to previous quarter.
These attack types are highly sophisticated and it requires us to take a multi-layered approach to detect and stop such attacks
Types of Impersonation Attacks
The email spoofing attacks most commonly used for targeting the dependent parties of the organisation like their customers, partners and associates. The victims might be able to differentiate such emails from legitimate emails and might fall for such attacks
Another major attack exploiting identity theft is CEO/CFO frauds. Here the employees are tricked to make payments to fraudsters account or share confidential information of the organisation.
The only way to protect your dependent parties from falling for such attacks is to protect your mailing domain with Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) security control. It works by prohibiting anybody except expressly approved senders from using an organization’s domain (including internal and third-party mailing systems) to send an email. Additionally, DMARC reports also helps you to identify and appropriately configure all your legitimate email senders and also to visualize the threat targeting the organisation’s domain.
How does ProDMARC help you in DMARC journey?
ProDMARC is built on a mission to achieve a secure and spoofing free email channels across all of internet space; makes reporting of DMARC, providing volumes and trends of the outbound mails including that of phishing campaigns and yield confirmation for reliability of the outbound mails in terms of SPF, DKIM & DMARC conformance; smooth and uncomplicated. It helps in gaining visibility on your email domain getting used on your behalf by third parties. It’s important to gain visibility of unauthorized emails which might be getting sent from your brand; ensures that emails do not get blocked due to misconfigurations, making the best use of the customer email communication; generates actionable threat intelligence feeds for your security and transaction monitoring systems helping to block targeted attacks proactively and also helps in identification of lookalike domains for your brand.
To summarize, ProDMARC helps improve customer trust in email communications.
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Email is a fantastic way for companies to advertise their brand and gain customers. Email, on the other hand, aids the dissemination of spam, phishing, malware, viruses, and other forms of fraud because it is difficult to say whether the sender is who they claim to be.
A new email authentication standard was adopted by email senders and receivers to help email senders deliver valid emails to recipients while also blocking phishing and fraud messages.
What is DMARC?
DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance. It is an email validation system designed to protect your company’s email domain from being used for email spoofing, phishing scams, and other cybercrimes. Its aim is to prevent email spoofing, phishing scams, and other malware from being sent from the company’s email domain.
SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Defined Mail) are two existing email authentication techniques that DMARC uses (Domain Keys Identified Mail). DMARC introduces a crucial feature: reporting. When a domain owner adds a DMARC record to their DNS record, they’ll be able to see who’s sending an email on their behalf. This data may be used to obtain more specific information about the email channel.
A domain owner can gain control over emails sent on his behalf using this information. DMARC can be used to shield the domains from phishing and spoofing attacks.
Why Does Your Business Need DMARC?
There is no medium with a broader scope than email, which has nearly 5 billion accounts worldwide. As a result, cybercriminals choose this channel for their malicious purposes. Despite the fact that improved security measures have been implemented in recent years to secure this platform, crime continues to rise year after year. 95% of all cyber-attacks and data breaches involve emails.
DMARC adds value in this field. DMARC not only gives you complete visibility into your email channels but also renders phishing attacks noticeable. DMARC is more powerful: DMARC will reduce the impact of phishing and malware attacks, prevent spoofing, protect against brand misuse and scams, and protect business email from being compromised. DMARC Check enables organizations to deploy DMARC and simplify their DMARC setup.
Where Does DMARC Help?
Malicious emails sent on their behalf threaten organizations and their clients; DMARC will stop these attacks. A company may gain insights into their email channel using DMARC. Organizations will focus on deploying and executing a DMARC policy based on the information provided.
Organizations are shielded from the following threats when the DMARC policy is set to p=reject:
Phishing on customers of the organization
Brand abuse & scams
Malware and Ransomware attacks
Employees from spear phishing and CEOs from fraud
Organizations will gain complete insight into their email channel using ProDMARC. Since companies could historically only learn about phishing attacks after they had already occurred, DMARC’s ability to gain complete visibility into the email channel is a significant benefit. It is possible to gain insight into phishing attacks using DMARC. Customers will be told ahead of time in this manner, resulting in a more positive experience. This way, customers are aware of these attacks in advance.
DMARC in Practice
DMARC’s primary aim is to identify and avoid email spoofing. Phishing scams, for example, use bank domains to send emails on their behalf. Customers of that bank believe they have received a legitimate email informing them that their bank card is no longer valid. The connection you are supposed to click will take you to a fake website. This website is exactly the same as the real website and logging in will provide cybercriminals the possibility of using your credentials.
Originally, email authentication strategies such as DKIM and SPF were used to secure the domains from such scams. Cybercriminals, on the other hand, can get around these safeguards. DMARC will establish a connection between SPF and DKIM in order to completely protect your domain and email channel. When you add DMARC to your DNS record, you gain control over your email channel.
On a regular basis, ISPs can provide Aggregate (RUA) and Forensic (RUF) DMARC reports, which can be sent to the email address mentioned in your DMARC log. Aggregate Reports (RUA) and Forensic DMARC Reports (RUF) are the two forms of DMARC reports available:
Aggregate DMARC reports (RUA) are
Sent on a daily basis
Provide an overview of email traffic
Include all IP addresses that have attempted to transmit email to a receiver using your domain name
Forensic DMARC reports (RUF) are
Only sent for failures
Include original message headers
May include the original message
SPF, DKIM, and DMARC outcomes can all be monitored and analyzed using ProDMARC’s dashboard. Adding a DMARC record to your DNS isn’t enough to keep your domains secure. DMARC works for three different DMARC rules, allowing you to choose what happens to your addresses. The ‘none’ policy is only used to gather data and keep track of your latest email channel.
There are two more DMARC policies to enforce your email channel. The DMARC ‘quarantine‘ policy would send a malicious email to the recipient’s spam folder, while the ‘reject’ policy will not deliver the email at all.
Why is DMARC Important?
To tie all of these, DMARC provides the following benefits to domain owners:
Prevention of fraud emails
You can tell email receivers to reject any email that appears to come from your domain but fails the DMARC check if you use DMARC and ensure all of your valid email sources follow DMARC alignment. DMARC is an anti-phishing control that has been used to prevent massive quantities of email fraud.
Simplified delivery to the recipient’s Inbox
DMARC makes it easy for email recipients to recognize a letter. To combat spam, email recipients devote a significant amount of time, money, and resources to the development of technology that filters out unwanted messages. The DMARC implementation helps email receivers streamline their filtering rules, easily identify and distribute emails. If an email passes DMARC authentication, it means it truly comes from the domain displayed in the From address.
Protection of the domain and brand reputation
You can detect unauthorized senders using your domain by reviewing DMARC reports, and you can tell recipients to reject emails sent from your domain if they fail the DMARC search. This will reduce the number of unsolicited emails from your domain, which will damage your sender’s credibility, brand, and ROI.
Email traffic control
The use of DMARC gives you complete control over your email sources, ensuring that they only deliver valid messages to your subscribers. You can verify whether your valid sending sources pass the SPF and DKIM checks, and you can resolve any authentication problems that arise.
DMARC allows businesses to monitor how their partners send emails on their behalf to ensure that everything is sent correctly. This lowers the chances of your sending IP/domain being blacklisted for sending spam emails.
Easier email visibility and brand recognition
You will use the BIMI standard to show your logo next to your messages in the recipient’s inbox if you use DMARC enforcement. BIMI assists the recipient in recognizing your emails in a crowded inbox and ensuring that the email was sent by you and not by anyone posing as you.
The BIMI standard is currently only endorsed by Yahoo and Gmail’s mailbox provider.
For those concerned about email deliverability, DMARC has become a “must-have.” If your emails are not DMARC compliant, they can compete for a user’s Inbox with spam and fraud emails.
ProDMARC For Protecting Emails
ProDMARC offers user-friendly DMARC services as well as professional guidance to help you get to a reject policy as quickly as possible. ProDMARC is a DMARC email protection and SaaS solution that allows businesses to handle complex DMARC deployments with ease. The solution offers 360-degree visibility and governance across all email channels. Contact us to improve your email authentication services through ProDMARC.
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DMARC is the acronym for Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance.
It is a security practice in the world of email that allows people to determine which messages are from legitimate sources such as businesses, and which are from fraudsters seeking to take advantage of them.
DMARC is used by organizations in a number of industries for a variety of purposes that we will address later, but the overarching aim is to defend against spam and reduce cybercrime.
The definition of DMARC is not entirely new. Instead, it employs DKIM and/or SPF to conduct a more detailed review of each email received.
A domain owner may define its own authentication protocol with DMARC using a DMARC policy
The DMARC policy is used to signal to an incoming server what to do if a message fails the DMARC test. Finally, the policy will produce reports that detail each review to help enhance processes and provide early warning if the account is spam.
Let us take a look at how the other two methods for authenticating emails operate to get a better understanding of this process.
How does DMARC work?
The best way to understand DMARC is that it is a method of evaluating whether or not an email is authentic. Companies may use this standard to publish policies or regulations within their email system, causing messages that do not follow particular criteria to be discarded.
Anyone studying DMARC should be familiar with the acronyms SPF and DKIM, which stand for Sender Policy Framework and DomainKeys Defined Mail, respectively. Before DMARC can be implemented, each of these protocols must be defined.
The Sender Policy Framework is a process that allows you to accept messages sent on your behalf. Each email contains a communication between the recipient’s DNS server and the sender’s DNS server.
By introducing an SPF, your DNS will only be able to send messages from IP addresses that have been authorized (essentially, devices).
Emails from other IP addresses are blocked, so no one in another country can send messages on your behalf.
There are many tools available to help you set up an SPF. Although each domain provider will typically have its own set of rules to follow, ProDMARC’s version of the DMARC setup process is relatively simple.
DKIM, on the other hand, is relatively straightforward to describe but substantially more difficult to implement than SPF.
Each email will be marked with an invisible stamp that works similarly to a signature on a letter. This information is stored in the header and decrypted by the recipient’s server, which enables it to authorize the sender based on what it knows about them.
Many tech experts also note the use of DKIM to ensure that an email has not been tampered with on the way to the recipient’s inbox, similar to how people line out blank spaces on checks to prevent further information from being added.
DKIM is a little difficult to set up. It requires the development of a public key (the system that enables a mail server to decrypt your signature) as well as a private key (which encrypts it, therefore hiding it from others).
Your domain provider should have instructions that will allow you to set up both.
Why should your organization use DMARC?
By now, you should have a clear idea of why it is important to have DMARC records associated with your messages. To drive home the point, we will go over each gain one by one, beginning with security.
DMARC’s reporting function means that receivers activated by DMARC can tell you:
There are several types of fraud, and email is arguably one of the worst-affected fields.
According to the Herjavec Group, cybercrime would cost the world $6 trillion by 2021; although it is difficult to predict how much of that would come from spoofing techniques, a simple glance through your junk mail can reveal how many people are trying to cheat you for financial benefit.
Of course, it is less about data breaches and network infiltrations that drill holes in the networks and steal money in this case. DMARC is used to check the company’s own identity, stopping actual consumers from communicating with people posing as you.
Damage To Your Brand’s Reputation
If one of your customers gives money or information to an imposter, the outcome will almost always be a negative experience.
DMARC is an extra security mechanism intended to keep out criminals who are becoming more innovative in their tactics.
That said, you should possibly say goodbye to any large orders from customers who were caught in the crossfire. They will be unsure of which senders they can trust, and even the mention of your brand can conjure up unpleasant memories.
Many small businesses are unaware of how vulnerable they are to cybercriminals.
It is the same if you are a regular person with a small savings account. You should not want someone to steal your prize money because the criminals have bigger fish to fry.
If you send email messages that you think could be spoofed, you can inform recipients that if the SPF/DKIM checks fail, they can reject or quarantine the post. Rejection or DMARC quarantine is useful if you want your recipients to be 100% positive that an email from one of your receiving domains really came from you. This will ensure that your domains and brand are still trusted.
Feedback and reporting
There are two types of DMARC reports. Aggregate reports show you the email message header data as well as the recorded information, such as the message disposition, which indicates what the recipient did with the messages.The harassment reports that go through the email server Feedback Loops are close to forensic reports. They are modified versions of email messages that failed SPF, DKIM, or both. These are useful for finding any snags that may occur during the DMARC implementation.
Final Thoughts- Why is DMARC important?
We hope we have clarified the benefits of adopting a DMARC policy clearly, but cybersecurity professionals are taking their time to spread the word.
Although 47 percent of government domains have adopted this feature ahead of time, research reveals that just 0.5 percent of the world’s top one million domains have done so, despite the fact that 76 percent of email clients support it.
Worse still, according to research 77 percent of domains with a DMARC policy may not be sufficiently covered due to DMARC configuration issues.
It is important to set things up with the aid of an expert if you want to defend your organization from cybercrime.
ProDMARC is a convenient and secure DMARC email protection that has been specifically developed to meet the changing business needs of organizations. We provide 100 percent DMARC security by blocking phishing attempts, notifying you as soon as possible, and reducing false positives to 0%. As a consequence, the organization’s efficiency and deliverability will increase. Get Started with top-class cybersecurity solutions for your business at ProgIST.
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The ability to create fake emails has long been used by cybercriminals as a tool for the deployment of spam, phishing attacks, or malware, and has been so since email was invented. DMARC is an easy way to give an email recipient the opportunity to verify an email’s validity with additional security that makes it easier to recognize.
It is understood that cybercriminals copy well-known brands and use the trusted reputation of the brand to send emails to recipients and orchestrate an impostor. The offenders end up giving away confidential data such as credit card pins, passwords or even end up making payments to the impostors.
What is DMARC?
DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) is an email protection service that enables the identification and prevention of email spoofing. The aim of DMARC is to wage war on email phishing scams, where the address of the sender has been forged to look as if it came from a legitimate organization.
How does DMARC protect your domain emails?
For an organization that sends emails to its customers, DMARC guarantees that valid emails are authenticated and the identity of the sender is checked by the email service provider of the recipients. Fraudulent emails that tend to be originating from domains under the jurisdiction of the company are blocked. In its DMARC policy, the organization can also include domains that do not send emails or even defensively registered domains.
Inbound emails that fail DMARC authentication do not enter the inbox of the recipient, so phishing emails are filtered out. So, if you get an Income Tax Department email with a “From” address with firstname.lastname@example.org, did cpc.gov.in really approve the message?
DMARC is built on two existing and widely deployed email authentication techniques, the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM).
SPF- enables domain owners to approve hosts who can use the “MAIL FROM” or “HELLO” identifier with their domain name. A list of hosts that are permitted to use a specific domain name is published as a specially formatted TXT record in the Domain Name System (DNS) records of that domain.
DKIM– allows a digital signature for a domain owner tag and email message. Email authentication is performed using the public key of the signer, which is published in the DNS. A valid signature ensures that, since the signature was attached, at least some parts of the email have not been changed.
While SPF and DKIM helped identify fake emails, neither of these protocols included a way to report what and why messages were denied. DMARC addresses this issue by enabling domain owners to tag sent messages to prove validity with certain domain identifiers.
It provides instructions for receiving email servers on how to deal with messages that fail authentication tests for SPF and DKIM; and also provides a reporting system to convey what activities were taken under the policies.
Benefits of DMARC
What separates DMARC from other protocols for email authentication is its reporting feature. You can see who sends emails on behalf of your domain, your brand, with DMARC, and stop spammers from using it to send fake emails.
DMARC’s reporting function means that receivers activated by DMARC can tell you:
How many messages they’ve received using your domains in the From address
Where the messages come from
If they passed DKIM and SPF tests on these messages
Before DMARC, receiving email servers did their best to decide whether or not the email was legitimate. It was never perfect and users had to search for lost emails in spam folders.
DMARC offers visibility dealing with messages that fail to authenticate.
By preventing unauthorized hosts from sending mail on your domain’s behalf, publishing a DMARC record protects your brand.
Valid emails are easily recognized after setting up your DMARC Record. This means you can advise all recipients to reject emails from anyone who imitates your business. This was DMARC’s original goal-to stop domain harassment.
DMARC reports give you an insight into who is sending mail from your domain.
It is easier to decide that the messages are not bad for inbox providers. Such emails are more likely to be sent easily and without errors to the recipient’s mail. Setting up a DMARC policy and finding the best service provider to deliver your emails would only help improve the credibility of your company.
We at ProGIST suggest getting a well-implemented DMARC setup to avoid emails reaching end-users who spoof your domain. This is a highly successful way to avoid the sending of both general phishing emails to your customers and spear phishing emails to your employees.
ProDMARC hand holds you during the entire life cycle of implementing DMARC including domains that do not send emails or even defensively registered domains. We study your outbound email traffic trend including marketing communications sent by third-party email campaign tools, by configuring SPF and DKIM records in your DNS for all your domains and configuring the DMARC record in your DNS with the right policies from the “monitoring” to “blocking” modes. Contact our experts for advanced cyber security solutions for your business.