Businesses are noticing an uptick in malicious emails, including rises in the most common types of cyber-attacks, email phishing and spoofing. Spoofing attempts can be made worse if your company hasn’t applied the three basic email security tools, including one that is often overlooked: DMARC. Applying these protocols and keeping a watchful eye over them not only can you tighten the security on emails coming into your business, but you now have a level of control over emails delivered to your clients and customers.
Most companies already utilize security protocols like Sender Policy Framework (SPF), which allows your company to specify who is allowed to send emails on behalf of your domain, and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), which affixes a digital signature to each outgoing email message that can be verified by the receiving system. This protocol helps the recipient end assure the email has not been intercepted or manipulated en route.
Please note that while both protocols can help protect your emails from being spoofed by cybercriminals, they are still lacking without DMARC. On their own, neither SPF or DKIM impact what typical email users see on an email, specifically the sender field, which is why phishing and spoofing emails are so common. The primary control to observe and restrict email domain usage is DMARC.
Why Adding DMARC Makes a Difference
DMARC, which stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance, can help email domain owners prevent unauthorized use of their domain, aka email spoofing. Utilizing SPF and DKIM, DMARC gives an email’s recipient additional instructions on what to do if the email doesn’t pass either protocol’s authentication process.
The instructions depend on the policy set by the sending domain owner: if SPF and/or DKIM fail, do nothing, quarantine the message by delivering it to the spam folder or reject the message. Each DMARC state represents a different level of security, with reject being the most secure option.
DMARC Alignment Test
DMARC checks for domain names to make sure they are “aligned” with other authenticated domain names, which typically means that if the SPF and DKIM checks pass, so will DMARC, unless it’s set to a stricter setting. There are two types of alignments that a domain owner can set DMARC to: strict and relaxed. With a strict alignment setting, the domain names must align with other authenticated domain names.
Using all three protocols, SPF, DKIM and DMARC, is a requirement for most cybersecurity insurance companies. Adding the DMARC protocol and utilizing a DMARC hosting service may also help provide legal coverage for your company in the unfortunate instance that a client falls for an email that has been spoofed to impersonate you. DMARC protocol also gives your relevant team additional insight into the performance of marketing emails through reports updated on a consistent basis.
EasyDMARC Adds Additional Value to DMARC
Although DMARC is certainly useful in helping to prevent cybercriminals from spoofing emails based on your domain, it’s difficult to analyze the data collected by DMARC that explains traffic activity, sender data and more. This data is unorganized and displayed in XML format, which takes practice and effort to understand.
EasyDMARC translates this collection of data into reports that are more accessible and easier to read. The data can also be filtered, sorted or grouped in a variety of ways for better visualization, making on-sight analytics a breeze. EasyDMARC also allows users to create custom notifications that alert your team to suspicious behavior in order to address it quickly before it becomes a larger issue.
A managed service provider like Anders Technology can monitor reports created by EasyDMARC and provide updates as needed. As we examine the reports, our team also looks into the email domain infrastructure to check for unexpected or unexplained changes as an added level of security.
Anders Technology advisors work with organizations to deliver technological solutions that fit their needs and accelerate them towards their goals. Contact Anders below to discuss how we can help your business achieve its goals and learn more about the associated fees.All Insights