Protect your Domain reputation with DMARC

Today the world is highly connected. People recognize brands more so than ever before. In our highly connected world, domains have also added as same values since they are brand extensions in the digital environment. Given the brand name is an inseparable asset for businesses, it must be well protected and have its use properly guarded. Even more in times of fake news, because it becomes imperative to protect the reputation of the company/domain.

DMARC- Domain message authentication & reporting conformance, policy allows a sender to indicate that their messages are protected by SPF and/or DKIM, and tells a receiver what to do if neither of those authentication methods passes – such as junk or reject the message. DMARC removes guesswork from the receiver’s handling of these failed messages, limiting or eliminating the user’s exposure to potentially fraudulent & harmful messages. DMARC also provides a way for the email receiver to report back to the sender about messages that pass and/or fail DMARC evaluation.

Why is DMARC so important?

With the rise of the social internet and the ubiquity of e-commerce, spammers and phisher’s have a tremendous financial incentive to compromise user accounts, enabling theft of passwords, bank accounts, credit cards, and more. Email is easy to spoof and criminals have found spoofing to be a proven way to exploit user trust of well-known brands. Simply inserting the logo of a well known brand into an email gives it instant legitimacy with many users.

Users can’t tell a real message from a fake one, and large mailbox providers have to make very difficult (and frequently incorrect) choices about which messages to deliver and which ones might harm users. Senders remain largely unaware of problems with their authentication practices because there’s no scalable way for them to indicate they want feedback and where it should be sent. Those attempting new SPF and DKIM deployment proceed very slowly and cautiously because the lack of feedback also means they have no good way to monitor progress and debug problems.

Let’s think about the reputation of a domain in the context of email. The e-mail service remains the great vector for the dissipation of dynamic information for a domain. From small to large businesses, there are always email messages been sent as @yourdomain. These messages are from someone in your company. It may be you, an employee, some department, and will always have the image of your company linked as the source of the information/document/opinion present in the message. The problem is that of email spoofing, its difficult to figure out a genuine sender from the mal-intentioned one. In this scenario, messages created by the spoofing email technique can reach the final recipient even if they fail in SPF or DKIM validations. Even those messages that may be damaging your domain image, or phishing messages that pass through messages generated by your organization, simply because there is no clear policy on what to do with these messages and thus end up being delivered to some user.

DMARC not only processes validations already performed by SPF/DKIM, but provides a way for the domain owner to publish their own policy indicating what the destination message services should do with messages that fail in those validations and in their own policy DMARC. In addition, it also implements a notification mechanism for the occurrence of such validation failures.

However, like all the other good things, there is little something which needs attention, it is somewhat cumbersome to monitor and have metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of the published policy. It is quite important to simplify the analysis of the raw data received by the DMARC adherent server reports so that better and more holistic view of the usage of the domain can be understood.

At Logix Infosecurity, we focus on simplifying the use of technology and making it robust for your organization.

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