This is one of the most asked questions that we come across from our customers. From the effort per-se it makes sense, reason being that SPF needs to be set in the company’s DNS server whereas DKIM has to be set in the sender’s mail server. Now some might ask ‘What is the challenge in setting up the DKIM in the mail server, the challenge arrives as majority of organisations use 3rd party mass mailers and CRM/HR service providers like mail chimp, Sendgrid, Zoho, Greyt Hr and many more to manage their customer reachout. And getting them to update the DKIM record requires an additional effort as most of the times these vendors are either unresponsive or lack expertise and that is the sole reason why the mail admins normally avoid the path of reaching out to the 3rd party mailers for setting up the DKIM and rather go-ahead with DMARC enforcement just by setting up the SPF records.
This approach however didn’t go well with one of our Banking customer, whose one of the mailing domains was in enforcement mode with just the SPF alignment. The mails admin tried setting up the DKIM as well however due to lack of response from the vendor they went ahead with just the SPF record. Everything was going fine for them till one day someone decided to remove the SPF record for that mailing domain (reason for which is still under investigation), and just like that around 20k mails got affected and were rejected by the recipient mail server in a single day. This was proactively identified and reported by ProDMARC and things are back to normal and now they are back again chasing the vendor for setting up the DKIM record as well but with more determination and rigour.
Achieving complete security is difficult, it not only depends upon your determination to fulfil it but also of others including your customers, partners, vendors and most importantly employees. DMARC works on 2 pillars SPF and DKIM and even though enforcement can be achieved by implementing either one of those however there is always a possibility that unforeseeable issues might arise which may lead to all your genuine emails getting blocked. Hence it is always advised to have a backup plan in place by implementing both SPF and DKIM before moving on the DMARC enforcement.
SPF and DKIM address two different, but vital, aspects of email security. In a nutshell, SPF allows email senders to define which IP addresses are allowed to send mail for a particular domain. DKIM on the other hand, provides an encryption key and digital signature that verifies that an email message was not forged or altered.
DKIM helps improve email deliverability and when combined with SPF, and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) it can play a critical role in preventing email spoofing. Having both protocols in place is always a safer option to ensure smoother deliverability and an additional layer of email security.
Click here to check if your SPF, DKIM & DMARC Records are aligned properly or if you haven’t started your DMARC journey yet, reach out to us to know more about ProDMARC.
A DMARC record is part of your Domain Name System (DNS) record, which is responsible for routing Internet traffic. Additional information, such as your domain’s DMARC record—a text entry within the DNS record that informs the world about your email domain’s policy based on the specified SPF and DKIM protocols—can be included in the DNS.
Set up a DMARC record for each domain you want to monitor before you can start generating and visualizing DMARC data. You can use our DMARC generator if you need help setting up your DMARC record.
Prerequisites Before creating DMARC record
Before creating DMARC records it’s a good idea to test DKIM and SPF.
Creating an SPF record
Creating a DKIM record
Create the record
DMARC is a system which allows email recipients to make better decisions depending on the reputation of the sender domain. It provides a platform for the sending side to publish policies to improve spam and phishing efficacy, essentially developing domain reputations. This aids in the provision of recommendations for dealing with messages that do not conform to the policies provided by the sender domain.
DMARC is aimed at:
Reducing false negatives
Providing authentication reports
Applying sender policies at the receiving end
An SPF and DKIM record must be published on the transmitting domain before DMARC may be used. You can configure DMARC by adding policies to your domain’s TXT records once the SPF and DKIM records are in place (the same way in which you published your SPF and DKIM records). Your TXT record name should read something similar to “_dmarc.your_domain.com.” Please replace the “your_domain.com” with your own domain.
Since DMARC policies are published as TXT records, they specify what an email recipient should do when it receives non-aligned messages.
When establishing a TXT record, the name of a DMARC record is “_dmarc,” which generates a TXT record like _dmarc.mydomain.com or _dmarc.mydomain.net.
In this scenario, the sender defines the policy as such that the receiver outright rejects all non-aligned messages and sends a report about the rejections to a specific email address. If the sender were to use the “quarantine” setting in the policy, it would look like:
and would request the action to quarantine on the receiving end of the message. In the next example, if a message claims to be from your domain.com and fails DMARC, no action is taken. Instead, these messages will then show up in your daily aggregate report sent to
Since the DMARC configuration recognizes that scaling out the deployment all at once can be difficult for certain organisations, there are some built-in methods for “throttling” the DMARC processing so that complete deployment can be achieved in stages over time.
The first step is to keep an eye on your traffic and reports. Assess the vulnerabilities (where messages are sent without being digitally signed or from invalid source IP addresses) and use SPF and DKIM records to address them.
As you become more comfortable with the findings from your regular aggregate reports, you will adjust the action on your policies to start quarantining. You can do this by using DMARC to change your TXT record to use the “quarantine” action. Monitor your daily reports.
Once you’ve been tracking your traffic and regular reports for a while and are certain that the sources seen sending traffic on behalf of your domain are all digitally signed, you can proceed to the next phase, which is modifying the policy to use the “reject” tag to completely deploy DMARC. Monitoring the files and spamfeed is an important component of maintenance.
It is also worth noting that the pct tag, which is optional, can be used to sample your DMARC implementation in increments. Since 100% is the norm, setting “pct=20” in your DMARC TXT record causes one-fifth of all messages affected by the policy to receive the disposition rather than all of them. When you want to quarantine and reject mail, this setting is particularly useful. Start with a lower percent to begin with and increase it every few days.
A conservative deployment cycle would resemble:
Delete the percentages from your policies when you are about to finish the DMARC deployment so that the full action of “quarantine” and “reject” is now working at 100%.
After you have published DMARC records, DMARC data will start to be created in the form of reports within a day or two, giving you insights into how your domains handle email. These reports are based on XML and might be difficult to read and comprehend for humans.
If you receive a lot of reports, you will quickly realize that manually posting them every day is not feasible. ProDMARC specializes in processing these reports and determining the measures that must be taken in order for DMARC to be distributed more simply throughout an organization. If you have not started your DMARC project yet, we encourage you to get in touch with our experts at ProDMARC for better guidance. ProDMARC helps you implement email authentication with DMARC to stop fraudsters from misusing your domain. Get Started with top-class cybersecurity solutions for your business at ProgIST.
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.
Spam email messages have been a scourge since the Internet’s inception, and they’ve only gotten worse as the number of connected devices and people using the Internet has increased. Despite several efforts to develop anti-spam tools, a significant number of unwanted messages are still sent every day.
Fortunately, it seems like things are changing recently, with the widespread adoption of three relatively new tools: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. Let’s have a quick look at each of these tools and what they achieve.
What are SPF, DKIM, and DMARC?
SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is a DNS text entry that displays a list of servers that are authorized to send mail for a particular domain. Since the owners/administrators are the only ones permitted to add/change the main domain field, the fact that SPF is a DNS entry can also be considered a way to enforce the fact that the list is authoritative for the domain.
DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) can be thought of as a way to ensure that the messages’ content is authentic, that is, that it hasn’t been updated since they left the original mail server. The introduction of the traditional public/private key signing protocol adds an extra layer of trustability.
The domain’s owners add a DNS entry with the public DKIM key, which receivers can use to verify that the message’s DKIM signature is right, while the server will sign the entitled mail messages with the corresponding private key on the sender side.
DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) empowers SPF and DKIM by stating a simple policy for each of the aforementioned tools and allowing to set an address to submit information about the mail message statistics gathered by receivers against a particular domain.
How do they work?
All these tools rely heavily on DNS after the setup phase is finished, as explained below:
The receiving mail server retrieves the HELO message and the sender address upon receipt. The receiving mail server then performs a TXT DNS query against the alleged domain SPF entry. The SPF entry data is then used to validate the sender server. If the search fails, the sender server receives a rejection message.
When sending an outgoing message, the domain infrastructure’s last server checks its internal settings to see if the domain used in the “From:” header is in its “signing table.” If the procedure does not end here, a new header named “DKIM-Signature” is applied to the mail message by using the private part of the key on the message content.
The main content of the message cannot be changed from here on because the DKIM header will no longer fit. Upon receipt, the receiving server will perform a TXT DNS query to retrieve the key used in the DKIM-Signature sector. The DKIM header check result can then be used for deciding if a message is fraudulent or trustworthy.
Upon receipt, the receiving mail server checks theDMARC record for any current DMARC policies and/or DKIM checks in the domain used by the SPF.
If either or both of the SPF and DKIM checks pass while remaining consistent with the DMARC policy, the check is considered successful; otherwise, if the DMARC check fails, based on the action published by the DMARC policy, it is marked as failed. If the check fails, based on the action published by the DMARC policy, different actions are taken.
Where Should You Start With Email Authentication?
The first move is to chat with your email support team on how to ensure that your emails are authenticated.
We strongly advise using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authentication for your messages, regardless of how you go about it. You’ll be able to acronym like the best of them while maintaining the safety and security of your brand’s reputation.
ProDMARC assists you in ensuring DMARC implementation with both the company and third-party vendors. ProDMARC, as a product built on a mission to achieve safe and spoofing-free email networks across the entire internet room, allows DMARC reporting, providing volumes and patterns of outbound mails, including phishing campaigns, and yields proof for outbound mails’ reliability in terms of SPF, DKIM, and DMARC compliance. Get Started with top-class cybersecurity solutions for your business at ProgIST. Get in touch with us for the best cybersecurity solutions.
Phishing and malware attacks are often carried out via email. According to a May 2016 cyber threat report by an Internet security technology company, the Locky ransomware was solely responsible for a 412 percent rise in malware emails in March compared to February. Although knowledge and preparation are the most universally successful countermeasures, according to a recent report from a popular technology website, even that is extremely difficult.
A combination of training and technical developments is most likely needed. One of the above concerns the validity of emails. Can you depend on the sender’s address in an email? In most cases, no, but DMARC allows you to do so.
To begin, an email has two sender addresses:
One is the “envelope” address, which is used as the return address if the email is not sent. The MAIL FROM SMTP comma is used to communicate between MTAs. The “envelope” address, which is used as a return address in the event that the email is not sent. The MAIL FROM SMTP command is used to communicate between MTAs.
The email address that you see in your email app is the address written in the letter itself. It’s communicated in the form of a “From” header.
What is DMARC?
DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance) is a free and open technical specification that aligns SPF and DKIM frameworks to authenticate an email. Domain owners, large and small, can combat business email compromise, phishing and spoofing by implementing DMARC.
With DMARC you can tell the world how to handle the unauthorized use of your email domains by instituting a policy in your DMARC record.
The three DMARC policies are:
It keeps track of your email traffic. There will be no further action taken.
Unauthorized emails are routed to the spam folder.
The final strategy and the ultimate aim of DMARC implementation. This policy prohibits unauthorized email from ever being delivered.
Why Use DMARC for Email?
Email is involved in more than 90% of all network attacks, and without DMARC, deciding whether an email is real or false can be difficult. By combating phishing, spoofing, CEO fraud, and Business Email Compromise, DMARC helps domain owners protect their domain(s) from unauthorized use.
The operator of an Internet domain will tell the world that “anything I send is easy to recognize using DMARC—feel free to drop fake email that pretends to be me” by always sending DMARC compliant email.
Instead of attempting to screen out malicious emails, why not provide operators with a way to quickly recognize legitimate emails? This is where DMARC shines as an anti-spoofing technology. The promise of DMARC is that it will replace the inherently flawed “filter out evil” email protection model with one that “filters in good.”
Benefits of DMARC
To ensure that your customers can trust your emails
Essentially, you want everyone on the internet to be able to trust your email messages without having to worry about cybercrime or the problems that cyber-attacks might create for your business. To trick their victims into giving up details, cybercriminals are increasingly using well-known brands to send out email blasts with their logo. This is something that a DMARC check can help you stop.
To protect your brand
Another reason to use DMARC is to safeguard your carefully cultivated brand image from irreversible damage. When it comes to building and retaining a strong brand, nothing is more important than confidence, so imagine cybercriminals impersonating you. Email reports would list you as the sender, and the receiver may not be aware that the message is not genuine. DMARC aids in the prevention of spam.
To prevent C-level fraud
Finally, DMARC email provides security against C-Level attacks. These are commonly referred to as ‘Whaling’ and are carried out for the purpose of gaining authority and access within a corporation. Since they are identical in nature, whaling attacks are often confused with phishing attacks. You can use DMARC to influence the deliverability of Whaling attacks and thus add “trust” to your domain.
Previously, protecting an organization from email attacks needed only a protected email gateway with anti-spam services. Today, this isn’t enough, as companies face a slew of cyber-threats. Email authentication is advantageous to businesses who believe their credibility and trust are essential in today’s business world.
ProDMARC is a reliable and practical DMARC email protection solution that has been specifically designed to meet the evolving 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 increase. Contact us for the best cybersecurity solutions.
Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance, or DMARC, protects an organization’s trusted domains from email spoofing. Due to the exponential growth of email fraud, and the fact that domain spoofing attacks account for a significant percentage of these attacks, it’s no wonder that many businesses are looking to introduce DMARC authentication to ensure that emails sent on their behalf are legitimate.
In fact, the Department of Homeland Security recently required that all civilian government agencies complete the DMARC implementation within a short timeframe, and urged private companies to do the same.
Many companies have not yet adopted DMARC because it is difficult to enforce and there is a high risk of DMARC problems, such as blocking legitimate email. To better help companies and agencies protect their trusted domains, we have identified five common mistakes made when deploying DMARC authentication.
Mistake #1: Don’t account for all legitimate mail streams, including third-party senders
Many senders, including third parties, send emails on behalf of other organizations. It can be difficult to recognize all of the legitimate senders, particularly when various departments within a company use third party email senders, such as marketing, sales, and human resources.
However, if all legitimate senders are not detected and allowed to send an email on behalf of the company, essential communications may be blocked, causing business disruption. Stakeholders from all related agencies should be consulted and active.
Mistake #2: Let a subdomain inherit the top-level domain’s policy
DMARC implementation is usually focused on the top-level domain (ex: acme.com), and organizations can neglect the importance of configuring unique policies for each of their subdomains (ex: mail.acme.com). The DMARC policy that is applied to the top-level domain is immediately applied to subdomains. If all subdomains are separately accounted for, this can result in accidental blocking of legitimate email.
Mistake #3: Don’t have a system or tool in place to parse the data from DMARC records
The receiving email service providers’ DMARC aggregate reports provide important details about your email ecosystem, but they are not easy to understand. If you can arrange data in a way that adds meaning, it’s just data. Furthermore, keeping up with the sheer volume of reports sent and collating all of the data in a timely way can be difficult.
Mistake #4: Don’t understand SPF and DKIM alignment
DMARC alignment prevents spoofing of the “header from” address by:
Matching the “header from” domain name with the “MFROM” domain name used during an SPF check, and
Matching the “header from” domain name with the “d=domain name” in the DKIM signature.
Proper alignment guarantees that the transmitting identity is authenticated in relation to the domain that it appears to be. Third-party email senders, once again, present additional obstacles. Third-party vendors, for example, typically have their own “MFROM” domain. As a result, they pass SPF but not SPF alignment. DKIM is in the same boat. DKIM can be passed by third-party vendors, but not DKIM alignment.
Mistake #5: Use improper DMARC syntax or content
Although there are instructions for generating DMARC records, they can be confusing at times. Improper formatting and/or content, as well as incorrect policy values, are also popular. To prevent DMARC issues, keep the following in mind:
Don’t forget to use “_dmarc.”
If you have multiple reporting addresses – separate with a comma, don’t include a space after the comma, and ensure the second address starts with MailTo:
Use correct policy values (example: use “none” instead of “monitor”)
Check for typos
Missing characters or extra characters
Mistake #6: Believing in the myth of “partial enforcement”
Unless a percentage is defined with the pct= tag, a DMARC policy applies to 100% of all mail by default. Unfortunately, if you use p=quarantine and set a percentage lower than 100, some spoofed messages will still get through. There is no such thing as DMARC compliance that is “partial.” While there are ways to use percentages usefully, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re fully protected if your pct= tag specifies anything less than 100%.
Mistake #7: Immediately going to a full ‘Reject’ policy
We often see businesses implement DMARC and then instantly switch to a complete “Reject” policy. Going to a complete “Reject” policy right away is a common blunder because it will almost certainly result in the loss of valid email. We suggest deploying DMARC policies in phases. Begin by tracking your traffic and searching for anomalies in your files, such as unsigned messages or whether you’re being spied on.
Adjust your strategy to dmarc quarantine in small steps until you’re satisfied with the outcome. Once again, keep an eye on the results, this time in both your spam capture and your DMARC files. Adjust your policy to ‘Reject’ until you are certain that all of your messages have been signed. Be sure to keep an eye on all reviews to ensure that the results are satisfactory.
Mistake #8: Forgetting about subdomains
Subdomains are set to follow the key regulation (e.g. p=reject) by default. Domain owners often concentrate on bringing their main domain to DMARC compliance while deferring the work required to bring subdomains into enforcement by setting a subdomain policy of “sp=none.” Unfortunately, this means that spoofing of certain subdomains is still possible. Phishing emails sent from email@example.com won’t get through, but firstname.lastname@example.org will. To be at enforcement, subdomains need to be protected, just like the main organizational domain.
Mistake #9: Omitting a reporting address
One of the most critical features of DMARC is that it provides domain owners with aggregate data reports on email authentication status, including passes and failures. You won’t get this data if you don’t provide a reporting address (via a rua= tag), and you won’t know about authentication failures or potential domain impersonation (spoofing) attacks. The reporting address makes it possible for the DMARC record to specify how to report these failures.
Mistake #10: Misconfigured SPF records
The SPF record is a DNS txt record that includes a list of approved senders’ IP addresses, rules referring to other forms of DNS records, and instructions referencing SPF records from other territories. Although there are several ways to set up an SPF record incorrectly, one of the most common errors is creating a record that allows the receiving domain to perform more than 10 domain lookups for each message it receives. If a domain’s SPF record requires too many lookups, some or all emails sent from that domain may not authenticate successfully.
Some domain owners “flatten” their SPF record by pulling all the IP addresses of authorized sending services forward into the primary SPF record to get around this restriction in the standard. Instead of including identical DNS lookups, a flattened SPF record lists a bunch of IP addresses directly. However, this presents a new issue: the need to keep the flattened list of IP addresses updated in case the email-sending service you’re using adds or eliminates IP addresses.
DMARC authentication is a useful method for preventing email theft in organizations. The method of implementing a DMARC implementation plan is a journey, but the benefits of preventing phishing and email spoofing attacks are numerous.
ProDMARC is a DMARC email protection solution that gives companies the visibility, resources, and services they need to easily and confidently incorporate DMARC.
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.
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.