What is DMARC?
Emails are the most common form of communication within business today. In 2020, Statistica estimated that roughly 306.4 billion emails were sent every single day (https://www.statista.com/statistics/456500/daily-number-of-e-mails-worldwide/). Companies must ensure that their email security is safe and secure from spam, spoof emails, and phishing attacks with so many emails and so much information. In this article, we’ll discuss one method of keeping your company emails secure: DMARC.
What is DMARC and how does it work?
DMARC is an abbreviation for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance. DMARC is a ‘technical standard’ that works to protect senders and recipients from annoying or potentially harmful emails. Using DMARC, companies can define a setlist of email authentication requirements. This information will be used within mail servers on how to enforce these regulations. This policy can also regularly provide information on the emails that don’t make it through the system so that you can decide whether or not to update the DMARC or update settings if spoof emails are getting through the system.
What is DMARC used for?
With so many emails sent and delivered day in, it is an accessible channel for hackers to access. With potentially sensitive information being shared between employees and clients, it is vitally important that companies do everything they can to prevent malicious attacks from occurring.
Companies use DMARC to provide a full insight into email channels and prevent hackers from sending fake emails or phishing emails that could potentially harm their organisation.
If you are looking for ultimate email security for your business, DMARC is an excellent option for you.
What is DMARC in email security?
The main goal with DMARC is to prevent email spoofing. Email spoofing is a form of a phishing attack, which is where hackers try to trick individuals into believing that the email has come from a person or organisation that they can trust. Although these spoofing attacks are occasionally easy to spot, hackers are getting more advanced and will do everything they can to trick the user. For example, many hackers will fake professional headers and other items which, at first glance, look to be authentic. If the user believes that the email is real, they may unwittingly give out private information, click on malicious links or accidentally install malware onto their device.
DMARC helps to ensure that only legitimate emails get sent to recipients, therefore reducing the risk of spoof emails getting through.
How does a DMARC record work?
SPF (sender policy framework) is a form of email authentication that defines a process that has been sent from a server that has already been validated, which detects spam. DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) allows organisations to claim responsibility for an email so that the receiver can check over. DMARC records specify how to handle emails that have not been authenticated using SPF and DKIM.
Depending on the DMARC set-up, three scenarios can happen. Firstly, the server can send the emails as they would be without any DMARC validation. If emails cannot be verified in this way, the DMARC record will detail how they should be handled.
If the DMARC suspects that the email might be dodgy but cannot be sure, it will be ‘quarantined’, which usually means that it will be sent to a spam folder where it can be checked manually. Finally, if the email does not pass the DMARC’s testing, it will be rejected outright.
The two types of DMARC reports are aggregate reports and forensic reports. Aggregate reports provide an overview of data about emails that have been sent from a particular domain. On the other hand, forensic reports are detailed and individual reports of emails that have failed the DMARC authentication process. This can help organisations to ensure that the DMARC is working correctly and that no authentic emails have been filtered out. It will also give organisations a chance to troubleshoot the DMARC and identify the malicious sites and email senders.
What are the benefits of DMARC?
Here are some of the most beneficial reasons why an organisation should consider implementing DMARC.
Security: this is, undoubtedly, the most important reason why an organisation should consider implementing DMARC. It helps ensure that employees won’t accidentally click on a phishing attack and helps build a safer email community.
It will ensure your reputation: phishing attacks can be incredibly damaging to companies. Not only can phishing attacks leak vulnerable information about your business and your clients, but they can also cost a huge amount of money to fix. If this occurs in your business, it could destroy your reputation as a reliable company, which is why DMARC is so important for any business.