Do you know that email communication is one of the fastest growing methods of inter-personnel conveyance! This is happening when other mediums like instant messaging, social media platforms are in a ruling the world. Yet, email seems to be the most preferred channel, be it for business purpose, personal use or for just sending the notifications.
If we look at the statistics, the total number of business and consumer emails exchanged on the per day basis in the year 2017 was $269 billion. The same report displayed that the expected annual growth rate for the next four years is 4.85%, reaching around $ 347.3 billion by the end
of the year 2023.
Now since we have already made peace with the fact as to how important emails are, so let’s understand about this medium in a bit of detail.
While we talk about email exchange, first allow me to ask you a few sets of questions.
Can you recognize the source of every email for your domain? Are spammers trying to spoof your email domain to attempt any act of fraud or hack? Have you implemented best email practices to be compliant with the security standards? Are compliant measures enabled on your email domain ensuring the sure shot inbox delivery? … and so on.
Various questions arise when we talk about email security and the answer to all of them is DMARC.
What is DMARC?
DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance. It is an email authentication protocol which is designed to provide the domain owners (email domain owners) the capability to secure their domain from any unauthorized use. The objective of DMARC implementation is to ensure that your email domain is protected from any BEC attacks, phishing emails, scams or threat activities. A blog on retruster.com stated that as per FBI, losses incurred by BEC scams incurred over $12 billion.
Having gained a little insight on what DMARC is, let’s now move forward with understanding the two key components of DMARC, they are DKIM and SPF. DMARC’s authentication standards are built on top of these two.
DMARC… DKIM…SPF… What’s all this fuss about?
DMARC is the email authentication protocol, while DKIM and SPF are the methods which are designed for detection of forged sender email addresses. The technique, which is generally used in phishing, email spoofing.
To elaborate, DKIM is the authentication standard which ensures that if an email is being claimed to be sent from a particular domain, then it actually is sent from that domain only. This is achieved by public key cryptography. With every mail that is sent a digital signature i.e. a private key is attached with its domain, now the ISP i.e. receiving mail server validates it by the help of public key i.e. DNS. This verifies whether the message that was sent didn’t tamper in its state of transit. DKIM not only prevents email frauds but is also helpful in increasing the domain reputation of your domain. So, if your domain has a low rate of bounces, spams and has higher engagement then it will help ISPs in improving your domain trust and reputation.
On the other hand, SPF is a method through which the receiver can validate whether the emails claiming to be sent from a domain comes from an IP address which is validated by the administrators of that domain. DNS records of a domain contain the list of the authorized sending hosts and IP addresses of that domain. SPF plays a very important role in determining who can send emails on behalf of your domain. This directly affects the email delivery.
How are DKIM and SPF associated with DMARC?
With SPF and DKIM, ISP takes charge of deciding what to do with the results. But with DMARC in place, an organization can decide themselves of what to do with the emails received from the domains they don’t trust. The decision to categorize such emails to rejection or quarantine can be of the organization and every such decision are based on the results of SPF or DKIM.
With everything in control, an organization still faces the risk of Email Fraud. Why does it happen? How can it be taken care of?
With the availability of SPF, DKIM or DMARC, an organization still finds itself falling prey to Email Spoofing, Phishing or Email Fraud. This happens because of lack in implementation of appropriate rules and compliances.
With an increase in an organization’s email deliverability, KDMARC boosts their email engagement rates. The tools also detect and defends any spoofed email thereby prohibiting malware and ransomware attacks.